2017 Target: Javon Leake

The Tar Heels hold an early lead for Greensboro running back Javon Leake.

GREENSBORO, N.C. --- Javon Leake, a 2017 athlete from Walter H. Page High with a high ceiling, has collected a trio of offers. One of his scholarship offering schools has risen this summer to become his leader. Prep Career

“I would say right now he’s a slasher,” Page head coach Kevin Gillespie said. “But he has the potential – and I’ve seen it at times – where he could be a punisher, too. And if he adds that to his game, boy he’ll hit that hole and explode up through people and then try to run around them then he’ll be a complete ‘back, because he can catch the ball out of the backfield. He’ll be able to do it all.

“He’s a good player, but we don’t know how good he could be. The sky’s the limit. He’s starting to show signs of it out here right now of a lot of progression from last year. He had a good season, he didn’t have a great season, but he had a good season. But the potential is there – there isn’t any question. His speed has gotten better, his size, his strength, now he’s starting to see the holes. So, he has got a chance to be real good.”

Prep Career

Leake became the starting running back within Page’s one-back spread offense as a sophomore. That season, he rushed for approximately 1,000 yards and a dozen touchdowns.


According to Gillespie, the North Carolina staff liked Leake’s sophomore film. However, they wanted to see how fast he was in camp before offering a scholarship.

After consecutive 4.51-second runs in the 40-yard dash to begin UNC’s June 17 camp the UNC staff was sold on Leake. But for good measure, he continued to not only impress while working out with the running backs, but also when he joined the wide receivers and defensive backs midway through one-on-one drills. After camp, Leake and his mother sat down with Larry Fedora where a scholarship was offered.

“When he gave me the offer, I was actually real excited for it,” Leake said. “And I felt like I worked real hard during the camp to get it.”

Leake has also received offers from East Carolina and NC State.

“Out of all the offers, I like Carolina the most,” Leake said. “All the other schools, they are really focused on football a lot – except for NC State, they were focused on school – but Coach Fedora made sure he wanted my grades up [and] he made sure he was cool with my mom. I liked that a lot.”

Outside of ECU, Leake is unsure where schools project him to play. The Pirates offered him as a defensive back, his preferred position.

“[UNC] just offered me as an athlete,” Leake said. “They didn’t tell me what the offer was for, but I’m thinking it’s for running back.”

Leake’s UNC offer was accompanied by an invitation to Fedora’s Freak Show.

“They said there was going to be a lot of competition out there, so bring your ‘A’ game,” Leake said. “They said it was going to be a lot of fun – and it really was.”

Although according to Leake, he had the most fun playing a dodge ball tournament on Kenan Stadium’s field.

“My team won the whole thing, so that was real fun,” Leake said. “I got to meet a lot of different players that were on my team and work together with them. It was real fun. I liked getting to hit the coaches.”

Generally speaking, the atmosphere of the Freak Show greatly impacted Leake.

“They turned on the lights [of Kenan Stadium] and everything,” Leake said. “It felt like I was actually in a game.”

Leake also camped at East Carolina, NC State, and Tennessee this summer, and visited Clemson.

For some of his recruiting visits, Leake was tagging along with teammate Diondre Overton, who Leake considers a “big brother.” Leake said that where Overton ends up could factor into his own recruitment.

“I want to play with him in college and we’ve talked about that,” Leake said. “But we’re going to do what’s best for each other.”

Extra Notes

Besides Overton, Leake is close with former UNC signee/Page alum James Summers, who preached hitting the books hard to Leake… Leake was born in New York City (the Bronx to be exact). He moved to Greensboro three years ago… Leake grew up a Clemson fan… Leake wore No. 20 last season, but will switch to No. 1 – to pay homage to his favorite player, Tavon Austin – this coming season… Leake also runs track at Page. He did play basketball as a freshman, but gave it up to focus on football.

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