Hidden Weapon

Callaway High School head coach Pete Wiggins knows that he has a dangerous weapon in WVU commitment Quantavious Leslie, and despite coaching a ground-based veer attack, he hopes to get the ball to the outstanding wide receiver more often this year.

"I don't remember how many times we threw to him last year, but it was probably around 20 attempts, and he had 13 touchdowns," said Wiggins, who has built Callaway into a solid playoff contender during his five years at the school. "He is as good of a player as I have ever coached. He is deceivingly fast because he's so tall and rangy. He just catches balls, and he has the best hands of any wide receiver I have ever had."

Wiggins has something of a dilemma in getting the ball to Leslie more often. He had 19 receptions as a junior, but with an option attack that produced great results a year ago, he doesn't want to shift away from what has worked. Still, he knows that he has a gamebreaker that can score from anywhere on the field.

"We run the veer, we really establish our fullback, and our quarterback and tailback are a big part of what we do. But "Q" has always been a big threat for us, and he makes big plays at receiver and on kickoff returns We have him at corner some, and he is very good there too. He is going to make plays wherever he is, so we want to get him the ball as much as we can this year."

Off the field, Leslie also draws positive reviews from Wiggins.

"He works hard and is a good kid. He is a leader. He is not that vocal, but he works hard at practice, and shows others what to do. HE is a great basketball player too, and I know he leads them as well. He brings a lot to the table for us."

Leslie's lack of huge numbers (other than his touchdowns to receptions ratio) might have kept him from earning the number of early offers that some other standout receivers did, but his film and camp work led to a flurry during this past spring. Wiggins also believes that Leslie learned a good deal during seven-on-seven camps, when he and his teammates traveled Alabama, Auburn, Clemson and Jacksonville State to compete against much bigger schools.

"I think those seven-on-sevens really helped him develop," Wiggins said. "We are a AA school, and when we go to these we are one of the smaller schools there. You get to see kids that are from bigger schools, and there is a lot of good competition. We have gotten better for playing in those camps, and I can see that he has gotten better too."

West Virginia is making new inroads in the recruitment of Leslie, but it won't be the last time that the Mountaineer coaching staff will be making the trip to Callaway. Junior running back Quan Bray is also on WVU's recruiting list, and with the impressions the assistant coach Lonnie Galloway made in opening the door, it might not be the last player that the Mountaineers haul in from the school.

"This is the first time we've had a player recruited from West Virginia, that I can remember since I have been here," Wiggins recalled. "I talked with Coach Galloway a lot, and he is first class. He says the things that you want to hear as far as being the kind of person you want to play for Q told me that several times, and told me he was easy to talk to, but that he would push him. And Coach Galloway talked a lot about academics, about being prepared. That's the same things that we talk about here."

With Callaway working for another playoff run, Leslie might not be among the nation's leaders in receptions or yardage this year, but that shouldn't be viewed as a knock on his ability. Wiggins knows what he has, and thinks that his best days are in front of him.

"He doesn't have the big numbers as far as yards, but he certainly has the size and the frame to be a great receiver. He just has great all-around skills."


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