UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII FOOTBALL
Defensive end picks Hawaii over Nevada
Nevada would've been the convenient choice for Josh Leonard. The Reno campus is less than a 2-hour drive away from his family's home in Sacramento.
But the 6-foot-3, 285-pound defensive end from Sierra (Calif.) College decided Hawaii is where he really wants to be, and he accepted a scholarship offer from the Warriors yesterday.
"My only worry was about how far away I would be from home," Leonard said. "But I don't think that's going to be a problem."
Leonard visited UH last weekend and was impressed by the "fan support and the team."
And his position coach is Jeff Reinebold, who roomed with Leonard's father when they played football at the University of Maine.
Leonard wanted to commit to UH during his visit, but Warriors coach June Jones told him to go home and discuss it with his family first. Leonard did that, and almost decided to go to Nevada. He spoke with Reinebold yesterday and determined Hawaii would be his choice.
"He was leaning in the direction of Nevada because of the comfort of being close to home. But the Hawaii football team had a great year and they've got great potential," said Rick Leonard, the father. "And the school is good, and Jeff is there as well. He realized he'd be missing the boat if he didn't go with Hawaii."
Josh Leonard's fiancée, Christa Sarbia, will also enroll at UH.
Leonard committed to UH before quarterback Colt Brennan announced he would return to the Warriors for his senior season. Leonard said that's a bonus.
"Definitely a plus," he said. "He's a helluva player."
Leonard is the third California junior-college defensive lineman to commit to UH. The others are end Chris Leatigaga of Foothills and tackle Ray Hisatake of San Mateo.