RedHawks Pull In Major Prospect

One of Ohio's top offensive linemen talks about his decision to pledge to Miami Ohio on Saturday.

Having visited Miami Ohio a couple of times prior to Saturday's latest Junior Day by the RedHawks had Loveland (Ohio) offensive lineman Ian Leever sold on where he future should be.

With a late day commitment after the dust had settled on a long day, Leever became the second member of Chuck Martin's 2015 recruiting class and a building block going forward.

"I had already gone up the week before for their other Junior Day," said Leever. "I already knew I really liked everything about Miami's campus and academics. I also knew I liked Coach (George) Barnett and Coach Martin.

"So I had already taken a campus tour and had a chance to see the classrooms and other things. I also got a chance to talk with some of the players and that was very important as I found some guys like me that like to hunt and fish. So that was awesome and very helpful."

While other prospects attended the RedHawks event looking for offers or to take their first in-depth look at the university, Leever took a different approach to his experience.

"Saturday was all about me reassuring myself about my decision," he said. "I actually walked out as the end of the day and was not planning on committing at that time. However, my mother and I sat down on the tailgate of my truck and talked about it a little bit. It was then I realized I didn't want to leave. So we drove down by the stadium and waited for Coach Barnett and as he came out I met him over by his car and told him I was ready to commit.

"Coach Barnett got out of his car and left it running and gave me a big hug and everything. We then went right up and told Coach Martin about it."

What was the reaction of the RedHawks head coach?

"They said Coach Martin was telling a John Harbaugh story when they interrupted him," explained Leever. But he came out to see me and when he stepped out I just told him yes. So he gave me a big hug and I could see he was really excited."

How does it feel to have the recruiting process behind him now?

"It feels great and I feel like a huge weight has been taken off my shoulders," he said. "I now don't have to worry about the other colleges and what campus I'm going to go to. I found a place that fit me after visiting about every college in the Midwest and I hadn't found a college like Miami."

Having reflected for a couple of days about his decision, what was it about Miami that made the three-star offensive lineman know he'd found his future home?

"I don't think it was any one specific thing," he continued. "It was just everything about Miami combined. One of the things was that I liked the coaching staff so much that I didn't want to commit just because of them as they may not be there in three or four years.

"So as I was talking with my mom, she asked if I liked the campus and everything else about Miami. I said yes, so she said you're not just coming here for the staff, you are coming to Miami for everything. So that was when I knew Miami was the place for me."

Another thing helping Leever was watching John Harbaugh be enshrined in to the Cradle of Coaches and hear the Baltimore Ravens head coach talk about his days at Miami.

"To know that John Harbaugh was talking about playing special teams at Miami and is now a Super Bowl winning coach is a big deal," said Leever. "It was an incredible feeling because Miami has always been high in everything from academics to athletics. I know they have been down for a few years, but as Coach Martin said, we're not trying to build this program, we are trying to get it back to where it belongs."

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