Switcheroo: Cowboy Commit Faces Big Change

Josh Leonard's recent visit to Laramie reconfirmed his earlier decision to commit to Wyoming. And after putting up impressive numbers in 2007, all the talented senior has left to do now is learn a brand new position. See what the Montana high school standout had to say about the Cowboys…

Josh Leonard was a dominant force at the defensive end position this year.

The Helena High School (Mont.) senior finished the season with four sacks, 11 tackles for a loss, 40 total tackles and a fumble recovery.

That made him exactly the kind of addition Wyoming wanted...for its offensive line.

It's a position Leonard has never played in high school. In fact, the 6-foot-4, 245-pounder didn't even play offense at all this season, but that didn't seem to bother UW head coach Joe Glenn.

"They liked my aggressive play," Leonard said. "I talked to Glenn about it and he said the best offensive linemen were defensive linemen once upon a time because they already have that aggressive mindset and aren't afraid to get into a dogfight."

Glenn also told Leonard that the switch to the new position would help even out Wyoming's recruiting numbers, which have been a bit defensive-heavy to date.

The move does mean the big star will have to get even bigger, however. Coaches hope he can put on some serious weight in his redshirt season.

"You can fit 50 pounds onto my frame pretty easily," he said.

Wyoming offered Leonard a scholarship after he impressed coaches during a team camp in Laramie last June. Just one month later, he made the decision to commit.

"I really got along with the coaches and got to know them," he said. "And then I really liked the football program down there and the community."

Still, a second visit to the Cowboy state a few weeks ago helped sure up his early commitment.

"I went down to watch the BYU game," Leonard said. "It was a lot of fun. I got to meet a lot of the players, and it really clicked in. I got to eat dinner with a lot of those guys and meet the rest of the coaches and kind of get a feel for what Laramie's like and how the football atmosphere is down there.

"That really answered a lot of questions....It really helped."

Glenn and offensive line coach Chad Germer returned the favor by paying Leonard a visit this week.

"They just came up to see if I had any questions and just answer some things," the big senior said. "We just kind of talked and had a good time."

Leonard held offers from Montana, Montana State and Idaho State prior to committing to the Pokes. He said his biggest strength is his work ethic.

He reports a max bench press of 270 pounds and a max squat of 430. He has also been clocked at 4.9 seconds in the 40-yard dash, an impressive time for an offensive lineman--especially considering he was hobbled with a knee injury at the time.

Still, Leonard says it is his speed that needs the most improvement before transitioning to the next level.

"That would probably be the biggest thing," he said.

One thing is for sure: Leonard won't be the biggest thing on the Pokes' offensive line next season. Then again, that's nothing a little work ethic can't fix.

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