Getting to Know: Offensive line signee Richie Leonard

Dec 21, 2019 | 0 comments


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Cocoa (Fla.) offensive lineman Richie Leonard‍ got an experience unlike most prospects who faxed their National Letters of Intent to the schools of their dreams Wednesday. Leonard, who has been one of the most outspoken members of #GatorGangXX since committing in July, actually settled in Gainesville the Friday before National Signing Day to partake in Florida’s Orange Bowl practices.

Inside the Gators takes an in-depth look at Leonard, who looks to follow the Jawaan Taylor blueprint of going from Cocoa, to Florida to the NFL.


In this edition of Getting to Know, Leonard explains how he first wants to make his own mark in Gainesville, both on and off the field.

PERSONAL

If you a chance to go on a dream date, who would it be with?
”Definitely the singer Jhené Aiko.”

What would be your first purchase if you went in the first round of the NFL Draft?
“First purchase if I was drafted in the first round would be a lifted Jeep Wrangler in white.”

What is one item that you cannot live without it? Why?
”My PS4! I’m always using that thing for so many different things.”

Who has been the biggest role model for you in your life? Why?
”Definitely my dad. My dad has guided me throughout this whole recruiting process and has driven me up and down the east coast of the US going to camps and visits. He’s taught me so much about the game of football. If you had a conversation about football with him, you’d think he was a 10-year NFL vet, when in reality, he was a D1 basketball player who’s never played a snap of football. But, he knows his stuff!”

What are your favorite types of music? Do you have a favorite artist or song?
”My favorite rapper is NBA Youngboy, my favorite rock band is Motley Crüe and my favorite country singer is either Keith Urban or Riley Green.”

What is your favorite movie?
“Easy! The movie Friday. It’s hilarious, and I’ve watched it a million times.”

What is your favorite TV show?
“My favorite TV show would be either Game of Thrones or The Office. It’s a real close one and two between them. Depends on the mood I’m in.”

If you could meet one person in the world, who would that be?
“I would want to meet LeBron James and just have a conversation with him about his mindset toward a lot of the things he does like the way he approaches things and the way he handles certain situations.”

Where do you see yourself five years from now?
“I see myself playing for a 4th straight National Championship for the University of Florida, having graduated with my bachelor’s in telecommunications and a master’s in business administration.”

What are three things on your bucket list?
“To see a baseball game at Yankee Stadium, to visit at least five other countries and to experience the Northern Lights.”

What is one thing about you that the Gator Nation would be surprised to find out about?
”I started playing football in 9th grade.”

FOOTBALL

Take us through the process that led to your commitment. What was that experience like for you?
”The process was pretty crazy for me. I went from having about six offers and being committed to Kentucky for a long time to jumping up to 30 offers and reopening my recruitment to explore those options, and then I made the choice to come to UF.”

Which school came in second for you and why?
”I’m not really sure which school came in second. I was just sure I wanted to be a Gator.”

What was the craziest, strangest or weirdest moment of the recruiting cycle?
”There was nothing too crazy throughout the process. I t was a great time, and I enjoyed the recruiting process. Most likely the only time in life I’ll get to experience something as unique as the recruiting process. But I’m ready to get to work as a player.”

If you could play a sport outside of football, which sport would it be?
“Definitely baseball!! I love baseball. I was a three-sport athlete all throughout high school (football, basketball and baseball). But baseball is definitely my favorite sport. I even had a couple baseball offers.”

What is your favorite football memory?
“Winning a state championship is definitely my favorite football memory!”

What would you say are some of your greatest strengths as a football player?
“Definitely the mental aspect of the game. I feel like I’m a very good thinker. I like to be the smartest football player on the field every time I step onto the field.”

What is the most appealing part to you about the University of Florida?
“Getting in the weight room! I want to get bigger, faster and stronger. All of those things translate to on-field play, which can only make me better.”

Who is the prospect that you have talked to the most from the Class of 2020?
”No one player, specifically. We’re definitely a real-close tight-knit group of guys. Nothing but fun when we all get together!”

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