ILBDarius Leonard

South Carolina St. — FCS
  • Height: 6020
  • Weight: 229
  • Hometown: Lake View, SC
  • Age: 22


2017 (Redshirt Senior): Became the second player under head coach Buddy Pough to be named MEAC Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight year in a row. Finished with season with 113 tackles (73 solo), while finishing fifth (5th) in voting for the Buck Buchannan Award given to the nation’s top defensive player in FCS I-AA… Was named to the prestigious Associated Press All-American Team, Box-to-Row, STATS FCS, Sports Madness, and while earning All-MEAC First Team honors for the fourth straight year. He reached an important milestone in his career breaking the record to become the School’s All-Time Leading Tackler.

2016 (Redshirt Junior): Started in all 11 Bulldogs games where he earned a career-high 124 tackles (78 solo). He was named the MEAC Defensive Player of the Year, Box-to-row National Defensive Player of the Year, SBN Mel Blunt Defensive Player of the Year while being named to numerous All-American teams including All-MEAC First Team honors for the third straight year.

2015 (Redshirt Sophomore): Earned first-team All-MEAC accolades…Started eight of 11 Bulldog games…Played a major role on defense, finishing second in total tackles with 70, including 50 unassisted…Added  13.5 tackles for loss, six sacks, two breakups, and two interceptions, one of which he returned 68 yards for a score…Had a single-game career-high 16 tackles in a win over Florida A&M.

2014 (Redshirt Freshman): Had a breakout season in his first season of college football on his way to earning MEAC Rookie of the Year accolades…Earned MEAC Defensive Player of the Week honors once, MEAC Rookie of the Week accolades twice and The Sports Network FCS National Freshman of the Week recognition once…Led team in total tackles with 87, including 73 unassisted…Also recorded 13.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles and fumble recoveries each.

2013 (Freshman): Was redshirted.

High School: Earned multiple letters in football…Reaped All-State and All-Zone accolades…Was the Division 1-A Defensive Player of the Year and the Division 1 Player of the Year.

Personal: A physical education major…Born July 27, 1995…The son of Lynette Waters…His uncle, Anthony Waters, is an NFL player.