UCLA's Potential Plans for Adam Leonard

The 6-2, 220-pound <b>Adam Leonard</b> from Seattle (Wash.) Rainier Beach, was one of the best linebackers in the Northwest before an injury. UCLA might have special plans for him...

When we spoke with Rainier Beach (Wash.) linebacker Adam Leonard (6-1, 220) on Wednesday, he said he was scheduled to have an in-home visit on Monday night with UCLA, but it didn't happen.

"I had to work and I couldn't change it, so they are going to come up at the end of the week," said Leonard.

So by today, according to Leonard, UCLA offensive coordinator Tom Cable will have met with the Leonard family.

Leonard did say that some new news had transpired in the previous week. "UCLA hadn't officially offered me but they talked with me and said they would probably offer me and I would come in as a greyshirt," said Leonard.

One of the big proponents of that has been Rainier Beach assistant coach Rick Neuheisel. "Like I said before, Coach Neuheisel has been a big influence in this whole thing. He said that it would be good for me."

Leonard said the greyshirting idea was actually a relief to him: "The more I've thought about it and talked with my family, the more I think it would be a good idea. It would let my knee get stronger, and mentally, it would let me prepare to come in next January, and be ready to compete for a starting job during spring. I don't want to come in and be favoring my knee. This lets me get it stronger and be ready to perform at the highest level I'm capable of."

Leonard said Neuheisel has been a major asset during this whole process. He said, "Coach Neuheisel has been talking with Coach Dorrell and Coach Cable for me. He told them what kind of player I am and that I would really help them. I'm really happy that he is getting a chance to coach in the NFL. You know, the Baltimore Ravens have been my favorite team because of Ray Lewis. Now Coach Neuheisel gets to coach him. It's amazing how it all worked out."

After Leonard meets with Cable, he said if an offer comes, he'll probably decide pretty quickly. "It's a great opportunity," Leonard said. " It gives me a chance to regain my balance in my legs, gives me a chance to play at a great program and get a good education. Football is my love and to be able to keep playing is a tremendous opportunity for me. I hope it all works out."

One of the top linebackers in the state as a sophomore and junior, Leonard, the two-time Metro League Defensive MVP, tore his ACL in the third game of Rainier Beach's season. As a junior, Leonard racked up 90 tackles as well as 23 receptions for 525 yards and 10 touchdowns. Aftet two games this season, he had 25 tackles, an interception, a fumble recovery and a sack.

Academically, Leonard is qualified by NCAA standards, with a 3.3 and a 990 on his SAT.

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