Leonard readies for Thursday UM visit, speaks on offer

Leonard readies for Thursday UM visit, speaks on offer

Stefan Adams
2020 Cocoa (FL) 3-star OL Richie Leonard is a prospect that the Miami Hurricanes have had interest in for over a year now. While Leonard always seemed to be on the verge of an offer from UM, it wasn’t until after Miami watched his junior tape that they decided to pull the trigger late last month. Safeties coach Ephraim Banda has been Leonard’s area recruiter and told him the good news.

“I’m excited about the Miami offer,” Leonard said. “I found out from coach Banda, he texted me and told me to call him and informed me of the offer then.”

Now with a UM offer in hand, Leonard can really start to take Miami seriously as an option, and he immediately scheduled a visit for this upcoming Thursday (March 21st). Leonard’s prior visit to campus came last spring when Mark Richt was still in charge and UM had a completely different offensive staff, so Leonard hopes to start building a good relationship with new OL coach Butch Barry and the rest of the coaches on the trip.

“I’m just looking to get some 1-on-1 time with coach Barry, getting to know him because I’ve never met him before, and talking with coach (Dan) Enos and coach (Manny) Diaz,” Leonard said. “I’m just excited about getting on campus again, the last time I was there was about a year ago and it was under coach Richt, so I’m excited to see what all the buzz and hype of ‘The New Miami’ is about.”

While Miami has not told Leonard exactly where they want him on the line just yet, he can play every spot along the front and is a lineman UM simply wants on their roster.

“Not really sure where they want me yet, but I’m sure that’ll be specified while on the visit. They’re aware I can play all 5 positions, though,” Leonard said. “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.”

The 6’3” 315 pound prospect has been committed to Kentucky since October, but admits he is still open to other programs. In addition to his upcoming Miami visit, Leonard will see FSU on April 6th, Kentucky on April 12th, and Tennessee on April 13th and 14th.

“I’m still solid but looking around, I don’t want to burn any bridges with any schools or coaches,” Leonard said of his UK commitment. “A lot of programs are coming hard: UM, FSU, Tennessee, Oregon, and Washington State.”

Leonard is not the only Cocoa star that the Canes are after: UM has also been hot on the trail of Leonard’s 4-star teammate Caziah Holmes, who has named Miami his leader in the past and is being recruited as an athlete that can play running back, slot receiver, or defensive back.

“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.”

Along with Holmes, Leonard helped lead Cocoa to the 4A State Championship as a junior this season, where the Tigers fell just short against Raines. However, Leonard has aspirations on returning to states to finish the job in 2019.

“Junior season went great,” Leonard said. “We made a great run as a team and made it all the way to the state championship game and came up a little short. But we’ll definitely be back, returning a lot of key players next year so it should be fun.”

In terms of coming to a final decision, Leonard says he has no plan at the moment and is simply taking his time enjoying the process. 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.

“I want 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 (10)

I like him. It will be curious to see if this puts pressure on Denis to make a quicker decision.
I like him. It will be curious to see if this puts pressure on Denis to make a quicker decision.
No it won't.

Denis is a take & a priority in this class, they'll accept his commitment to us regardless of when he announces.

Would it be great to get a commit from him early, sure, but they're not moving on from Denis until they know he's not coming & as of now we're very much in it if not leading.

It's still really early just Spring, we're not going to start gettin commits until Summer/Fall.
Another Kentucky commit.
If we are able to flip him will the Kentucky fans claim that we are dropping bags?
Academics is important but he's committed to Kentucky.......wtf smh otherwise kid looks good on film and caziah is a priority for us so keep the full court press on both
Leonard looks the part, and finishes blocks well. Looks like a G moreso at the collegiate level, was a little slow pulling on some of those plays. Would be a nice pickup if he looks at us seriously over Kentucky and the other schools after him.