Video: Brian Leonard is an Instant Legend

Brian Leonard decided to come back for his final year at Rutgers to lead his Scarlet Knight teammates to a Bowl victory. In helping pave the way, in a literal sense, for his teammate and best friend Ray Rice in '06, Leonard began to take on the appearance of not only a great player, but an instant legend.

The awards for departing Sr. Brian Leonard are numerous, perhaps too numerous to name. Perhaps what is most impressive, however, is that they span not only football accomplishments, but success across the entire student/athlete spectrum. The Draddy Trophy, widely regarded as the Academic Heisman recognizes an individual as the absolute best in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership. It is this type of recognition that places the soon to be departed and sorely misssed Brian Leonard in an elite category among football's greats.

"This is something I will cherish for a lifetime. I am honored to receive this award. I take great pride in everything I do, whether it is on the field, in the classroom or in the community. I want to thank my family, Coach Schiano and my teammates for everything. They have played a great role in my life," said Leonard after receiving the award.

But it didn't stop there. Leonard went on to receive, for the third consecutive year, Pro Football Weekly All-America honors. He was named First Team All-America by ESPN.com, and alongside Senior teammate Clark Harris was selected to play in the Under Armour Senior Bowl. Leoanrd was also named All Big-East by Scout.com in 2006 and also received Scout.com All-America honors.

Leonard will become an instant legend at Rutgers. Stories will be told of his ability to run through, around, or leap over defenders, but undoubtedly most characteristic of his person was the step back he took in '06 toward that of a reduced glamour role, in order to help Rutgers Football achieve history.

Leonard talked about his years at Rutgers, the state of the Rutgers Football program and his best friend and teammate Raymell Rice after the conclusion of the Scarlet Knight's 37-10 victory over Kansas State.

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Matei may be reached at mgeorge@rutgersfootball.com


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