Sleeper DB High on Canes

When Anthony Leon was sitting in a classroom his freshman year at a high school in Atlanta, he knew something wasn't right.

"I was born in Miami," Leon said. "Miami is more me. My family had moved to Miami after Hurricane Andrew but I wasn't where I wanted to be and I wasn't doing real good at school."

That's when the decision to move back to Miami was made. Help was provided by cousin Sean Taylor.

"We came back to Miami and I wanted to get into a better school for academics," he said. "Sean was telling me about Gulliver and how they're good on grades. So after my freshman year, during the summer, I came to Gulliver."

Leon spent the last couple seasons preparing for a career in basketball. At 6-foot-4, he was a 2nd team All-Dade pick as a junior. Then he began thinking that maybe he'd give football a try again, after having played the sport growing up.

"Really, I just thought football was more me," he said. "I love basketball and everything but football's the way to go. Being 6-4, I'm normal size for a shooting guard. Being 6-4 at safety, that stands out more."

Now at 6-4 and 215 pounds, Anthony Leon is playing like one of the state's top defensive backs. He has 15 tackles and two picks so far this season on defense to go along with a bunch of bone-smashing hits.

"I'm gonna run track this year too," he said. "I'll probably run and jump, get my technique a little better. I ran a 4.6 at the Rutgers camp but I can do a 4.5."

With a rare combination of size and speed, Leon talked about some other reasons why he's one to watch.

"My size and athletic ability are a good combination but it's more than that," he said. "I can be around the ball a lot and make plays. It's one thing to be big and fast but you still have to make the plays."

Making plays is something he did in a 17-10 win over Bay Point last week.

"Florida State came to the game and they were real impressed," he said. "I had to show them what's up."

He was obviously impressive enough to the FSU coaches. The result of his performance?

"They offered me this week," he said. "It was my first offer. Hopefully more of them will roll in soon. I'm just glad I got my first one."

The talented defender said the Noles join the Canes and Gators atop his list of current favorites.

"I've been talking a lot to the University of Florida (Doc Holliday) and UM (Randy Shannon) too," he said. "The UM coaches haven't been to a game yet but they have my film and they said they're interested."

While the offer from FSU obviously has him excited, Leon is hoping the hometown Hurricanes are next.

"Miami has always been my favorite," he said. "It's home. I like the Canes' swagger. I like how they carry themselves on the field. Sean (Taylor) talks them up and I know a couple people on the team now. Plus, I like how they're not afraid to play the freshmen. I like Kenny (Phillips). I'm trying to be like him my freshman season. He's already making a big impact. Coach Shannon was telling me that -- he'll put the best guys on the field and I can see that with Kenny."

Leon said there's a lot to like about the Noles as well.

"They're looking real good this year," he said. "They got a good defense and I like their secondary. They got a little more speed this year and plus they just brought in a real good recruiting class. They have a good young team."

Although Leon has not yet scheduled any visits, he has a good idea of where they'll go.

"I plan on visiting Florida State, Florida, and Miami," he said. "I'll go out of state for a couple visits too. I get calls from Colorado State, Bowling Green, Rutgers, Ole Miss, South Carolina, people like that."

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