Hitting the Books

While hundreds of high school prospects attended multiple college camps in hopes of getting scholarship offers or improving their stock, Madison West running back Leighton Settle had more important things on his mind – his grades.

MADISON - While thousands of high school juniors from around the country traveling to college universities for summer camps, hoping to earn scholarship offers in the process, running back Leighton Settle could not be found among the masses.

And it wasn't because the 5-foot-10, 185-pound running back from Madison West High School wasn't good enough to get any camp invitations. The reason Settle skipped the camp scene was to get his priorities straight in the classroom.

"As much as I want to be out there, my job is to focus on my grades in summer school," Settle said. "After that, I'll have to see what is available for me to do."

Although he has been absent from the camp scene, Settle, the son of Wisconsin running backs coach John Settle, has drawn plenty of interest after a monster junior season. Rushing 262 times for 1,773 yards and 27 touchdowns last season, Settle already has one scholarship offer from Fresno State and is drawing interest from Georgia, Iowa, LSU, Oregon State, Washington State and Wisconsin.

The two schools that stick out, however, are the Badgers and the Bulldogs.

On Wisconsin: "I need to get my grades up so I can show that I would be eligible to compete and possibly get an offer. The coaches said they are talking to my counselors and waiting to see my ACT score before they do anything. If I do go there (Wisconsin), it would be cool to be coached by my dad."

On Fresno State: "Since my dad coached out there, I am real familiar with the school and the facilities. We were out there for about eight years and it was a great place to be. They were my first offer, which means a lot, and a school that I'll definitely consider."

Named Associated Press first-team all-state, WFCA honorable-mention all-state, WFCA all-region, Wisconsin State Journal first-team all-area and first-team all-Big Eight conference, Settle doesn't have a preference to where he plays college football or a timetable of when he would like to make his decision.

Describing himself as a slashing running back, Settle moves at 100 percent on the field, but wants to take his time off the field to improve as a football player.

"I can cut on a dime and can make a lot of moves that can get me extra yards," Settle said. "That also can be a (disadvantage) because I sometimes will think about making a move rather than hitting the holes and getting those extra yards. I am working hard on improving that part of my game."

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