Leon helping Rosamond on both sides of ball
Leon’s offensive numbers are impressive too. He leads his team in receptions (40), receiving yardage (735), all-purpose yardage (996) and touchdowns (17). “Most guys are more into the touchdowns, he’s just more into saying, ‘Did you see me lay that guy out?’ ” Rosamond running back Spencer Rodney said. “I don’t know what it is. I guess he’s just determined to be the hardest hitter. That’s his mind-set.” It’s a mind-set Leon hopes to someday apply in a career in law enforcement. “I have a couple of relatives who are cops and I’ve always admired their toughness,” Leon said. “Sometimes you have to be mean when you’re a linebacker, and sometimes you have to be mean when you’re a cop.” But before Leon starts snuffing out crime scenes, he hopes to spend the next few years snuffing out opposing offenses. Leon’s collegiate stock rose over the summer at an invitation-only camp at Boise State, where he made 12 tackles in 24 plays against elite competition. His 4.8-second 40-meter dash time is considered average for collegiate linebackers, but his game speed is off the charts, Rosamond coach Kevin Rizer said. “He has exceptional football speed that’s evident when he runs down quicker and smaller players,” Rizer said. “We’ve actually had a problem with him being too athletic. He takes himself out of plays sometimes.” Rizer said Leon is the best player he’s ever coached in 12 years. He projects Leon to be an impact player at a second-tier Div. I college. “He has an uncanny sense for the game, and when you put that together with his work ethic and his athleticism, it’s no wonder he is where he is,” Rizer said. “The scary thing is he’s still got a lot of room for growth. He’s only going to get better.” Gideon Rubin, (818) 713-3607 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals He also has a knack for making big plays. Leon scored on a 79-yard run in Rosamond’s 14-0 victory over Bishop on Nov. 4, a win that clinched a share of the Roadrunners’ first High Desert League title since 1996. For his part, Leon prefers to talk about the 25 tackles he made in that game. “Without hesitation,” he said with a smile. “I’ve played defense my whole life.” The 6-foot-2, 205-pound, long curly dark-haired Leon credits his father Robert, who coached him in youth football, with instilling in him a defensive mindset. Leon is believed to be the section’s leader in tackles (199), and also has seven sacks. He’s made 125 tackles in his past six games, and has made 20 or more tackles in his last four games. ROSAMOND – Don’t get Rosamond High’s Eric Leon wrong. Touchdowns are fine. He’d just rather knock you off your feet. An impact player on both sides of the ball, Leon, who plays tight end and linebacker, has led the Roadrunners (9-2) to their best season in years. Rosamond is seeded third in the Southern Section Division XII playoffs and will play host to L.A. Baptist of North Hills (6-3-1) on Friday in a 7:30 p.m. quarterfinal. His combination of speed and strength has attracted the attention of Div. I scouts. Boise State and Fresno State have expressed interest, but have not yet made offers.