Meyers Leonard is a 6'10" center/forward from Robinson, Illinois who is slotted by Scout.com as the nation's 43rd best prospect in the Class of 2010. Leonard grew six inches this summer, going from 6'4" to 6'10" and rapidly began attracting more notice from major colleges. Leonard was offered scholarships by several Midwestern schools including Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, and SIU but in the end he picked the Illini. Other schools he considered included Purdue, Louisville, and Florida.
"I just felt really comfortable at Illinois, it's the right fit and I know what I wanted," Leonard said. "I'm sure with all these schools now looking at me, growing six inches had something to do with it, but I've also worked very hard in the off-season. I've spent a lot of time in the gym working on everything possible, from shooting to lifting weights."
If you follow recruiting everyone knows that most of the time current players and recruits that have made a verbal commitment to a school can help sell a program. For example Nathan Scheelhaase, an Illinois football recruit from Kansas City, Missouri, gave Illini Head Coach Ron Zook a verbal commitment and stated, "I'm going to try and get other players to come to Illinois with me. They have a special thing going there, so I will try to get other kids to come."
Well Leonard is no different. "I'm not going to lie, knowing that Illinois has a great class coming in next year and my class with Jereme and Crandall certainly helps the situation," Leonard stated. "As a matter of fact, I just talked with D.J. Richardson yesterday, the guys all seem to be real close."
Leonard said he hasn't really met all the guys yet, but he has seen all of them play a few times this summer during other AAU events. "Basketball is over for me right now until my season starts. AAU basketball is done, but that doesn't mean I'll stop working to get better," added Leonard.
During the fall we'll keep you updated on Leonard and his progress here at InsideIllini.com