Black History Spotlight: Darius Leonard

Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 7:30 PM EST
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LAKE VIEW, S.C. (WMBF) - Overcoming adversity and silencing the doubters. Our latest Black History spotlight embodies that and so much more.

We’re talking about the pride of Lake View, none other than Darius Leonard.

Leonard is currently one of the top linebackers in the National Football League; however, his journey to stardom didn’t come easy. After a decorated career at South Carolina State, Leonard was still overlooked, mainly due to the fact that he attended a Historically Black University.

He was called one of the worst picks in the draft after being selected 36th overall by the Colts. That gave way for a chance to truly silence the critics and he did just that.

Leonard went on to lead the NFL in tackles as a rookie and was named the 2018 defensive rookie of the year.

He then went on to make league history just a few short months ago. Prior to the 2021 season, Leonard signed an extension making him the highest-paid outside linebacker in NFL. He proved he was worth every penny of his deal becoming the first player to ever record 8 forced fumbles and 4 interceptions in a season.

Leonard has established himself not only as a star but also as a hometown hero. He continues to support and give back to the Lake View community all throughout the year and hosts a football camp each summer.

A true pillar in our community and an example of never giving up on your dreams.

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