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March 22, 2010

Leonard solid with Florida

Interlachen (Fla.) athlete, and Florida commitment, A.C. Leonard showcased his skills at tight end during the Badger Sports Elite 7-on-7 tournament over the March 13 weekend.

Not only did he help his team, Pro Impact 1, capture the championship, but Leonard's outstanding performance earned him MVP honors for the event.

"It was a great experience and it meant a lot," he said. "I work hard and I feel like I deserve it." The following week, he was selected to the 2011 Under Armour All-American Game.

As far as recruiting is concerned, Leonard plans on making it to Florida's spring game as well as some practices this month.

The 6-foot-3, 225-pound athlete is excited about seeing Florida head coach Urban Meyer and the Gators back in action.

There were reports in late December when Meyer temporarily stepped down that Leonard might have been re-thinking his commitment.

However, Leonard insisted that was never the case and he is firm on his pledge; "I didn't never really back out, it was just rumors (that concerned him)," explained Leonard. "But now I'm confident that this is where I want to be at."

Another source of confidence for the 2011 commit is the relationship he has with quarterback coach Scot Loeffler, his main recruiter. "It's pretty good (their connection)," revealed Leonard. "We talk like every other day... and he'll come down and see me sometimes. It's cool, I like him a lot."

His preexisting relationship with Leoffler will serve him well when he arrives at Florida. Though he has been a two-way standout on the high school level, when he gets to Gainesville he will begin his Gator career on offense.

UF coaches have told Leonard that they will use him at tight end and H-back, similar to how Aaron Hernandez was utilized. With his skill set, Leonard should have no problem fulfilling that spot successfully. "I'm strong," he said. "I'm not fastest player but I got nice decent speed, and soft hands."

Leonard will be using those soft hands to throw the ball next season, as he makes the move to quarterback for Interlachen. As a senior, Leonard expects to take on more of a leadership role with the younger players on his team. "I already know I am (going to be leader), we work hard in the weight room and I just push everybody," said the 2011 commit."They have never really had that so I have to step up, me and Kion Williams."

Williams, who like Leonard transferred to Interlachen after his junior campaign, is a rising running back prospect and recently ran a 4.44 at the Under Armour Combine in Jacksonville.

The two teammates attended Florida's first Junior Day back in February, and there is a possibility that Williams could join Leonard as a commitment for the 2011 class. "Yeah we have talked about it, I think he would be (interested in going to UF with him)" disclosed Leonard. "He said if they offer him he's going to accept it because that's where he wants to go."

This summer Leonard will participate in the Urban Meyer football camp, and hopes to improve some areas of his game that need work. "My route running, I want to make that crisp and get it down pact," he said. "And I want to get a little bit faster."

As of now Leonard doesn't have any visits scheduled to other schools, and only has Florida in his plans for the spring and summer. However, he might check out some of the teams pursuing him just to go through that aspect of the recruiting process. "Arkansas, UCF and Miami are trying to get me to come down," he said. "I'm pretty sold on UF, I just want to have the experience to say 'I did it', so I can tell young dudes how it is in recruiting. But I'm solid on Florida."



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