2020 Cocoa OT Leonard visits for spring game, in contact with staff

2020 Cocoa OT Leonard visits for spring game, in contact with staff

Stefan Adams
2020 Cocoa OT Richie Leonard has already picked up early offers from Purdue, Rutgers, Toledo, and Kentucky. One offer he’s still waiting on, however, is the hometown Miami Hurricanes. Leonard is in contact with the staff at UM and has visited campus for Underclassmen Day and the spring game last month.

“I had a great time at Miami,” Leonard said of his spring game experience. “It was good to see and talk to the coaching staff again, and I got to enjoy watching the game I love with some of my teammates, so it was an all-around great experience.”

While, for now, Leonard isn’t be recruited to one area of the offensive line, he is starting to build up a connection with the coaching staff at Miami.

“I’ve got a really good relationship with (Director of Player Personnel) Matt Doherty, coach Searels the Offensive Line Coach, and with coach Banda, who’s the recruiter for our area,” Leonard said. “They haven’t really specified on the position they’re recruiting me for, but it’s known that I can play all 5 positions on the offensive line.”

So, just what is it about the Canes that is drawing him to Coral Gables?

“I really like the energy the Miami coaching staff brings,” Leonard said. “It’s just always high tempo, enthusiastic, and energetic down there. I had a great time just watching them practice.”

And if the Canes did pull the trigger on an offer?

“If Miami were to offer, I’d be extremely grateful,” said Leonard. “And just like other schools, I’d make sure they know I’m a hard working player that is always hungry to better myself and perfect my craft, that’s also flexible enough to play any position on the offense line.”

One classmate of Leonard’s at Cocoa already claims a Miami offer in Caziah Holmes. The 2020 athlete has Miami high on his list and, along with Leonard, the two have already talked about playing together at the next level.

“Me and Caziah have talked a little bit about possibly playing together in college, but where at specifically hasn’t really come up,” Leonard said. “I’m not sure where Caziah’s going to go, but wherever he does end up, they’re going to get an absolute baller.”

In terms of other schools vying for his commitment, Leonard claims no leaders or top groups, but does plan to visit other programs he has offers from at some point.

“Nothing set in stone yet, but I’d love to take a trip up to the 4 schools that have offered: Kentucky, Purdue, Rutgers, and Toledo.”

The big offensive lineman is actually a three sport star, playing football, baseball, and basketball at Cocoa. He actually gave up football at one point, but Leonard talked about what on his path led him back to the gridiron.

“Football was actually the first sport I played. I started playing flag football when I was 3 years old, but stopped when I was about 7,” Leonard said. “I started playing baseball when I was 5 years old and fell in love with it immediately. But through both of those, basketball was actually my first love. My father played D-I basketball, so I’ve been bouncing a ball for as long as I can remember. I actually still play on my varsity basketball team as the starting power forward. But I started back playing football in 9th grade and fell back in love with it. Current starting right tackle for the University of Florida Jawaan Taylor was also a big reason I started back playing. He’s had a big influence on me and is a guy that I look up to.”

After just falling short in the state title game to Raines last year, the 6'4" 295 pounder hopes to lead his Cocoa team back to the championship as a junior, only this time bringing home a victory.

“Individually, I feel like I had a pretty good sophomore season, but there’s always room for improvement, there’s always things that I’m going to need to work on and I’m planning on having an even better junior season,” Leonard said. “As a team, we fell just short of our goal, which was winning a State Championship. We lost in the state game to a good Jacksonville Raines team. That’s a feeling nobody wants to experience, especially coming from winning state the year before. But we’ve got a lot of good guys returning and we’re all hungry to get back and complete the mission this time.”

While he sets no specific time to expect a commitment, Leonard will graduate early and enroll for spring ball at his school of choice.

“No sir, no timetable specifically yet,” Leonard said. “But I do plan on graduating early and being on campus of whatever college I attend in the spring of my senior year.”

When he finally does make that decision, the school that will land Leonard will offer him both a comfortable environment as well as great academics.

“A school that I can get a good education and good degree from. And a coaching staff that just really feels like a family. A place that my parents love just as much as I do.”


Comments (27)

High GPA (according to his Twitter) and strong work ethic.
Watch this kid !!!!
Moves well, long arms, big kid and well put together, finishes plays. What's not to like?
Stefan, that’s a great article with a lot of information. Since this site is my sole info for Miami recruiting, I’d enjoy reading about who these guys believe are the best opponents they’ve played against.

Ex: WRs vs DBs, OL vs DL, TE vs LB, etc.

If you could sprinkle that in, I’d greatly appreciate it. I think it’s nice to know who the players think are the best from their own point of view.
I like that we're getting in on a lot of OL early.

The quality of OL on the team has been improving.

Hopefully it'll start to translate on the field.
Should we steal another guy from UK? I think UF flips him in the end tho, imo.
We absolutely should be after this kid, especially if it helps us even more with Holmes.

No reason to let a good OL leave home, we need crazy depth going forward all along the OL at Guard, Tackle & Center, we should take a minimum of 3-4 linemen every class imo.
UF flips him? They offered? FSU is HOT after him and Holmes. No word on UF though. OFFER HIM.
Comes from a strong family and really high on academics. Would love him and Caziah from Cocoa and Tennison from Rockledge as a package deal from Brevard Co.

Then why is he committed to UK?