Entering the home opener in the 2009 season, then redshirt freshman Brent Leonard had just one reception in his collegiate career. Leonard's first career reception came against #2 Texas, late in the fourth quarter, for just six yards. The Keller, Texas native would continue having a limited roll in the Warhawks offense, ending the season with three receptions for 46 yards.
"All the hard work I put in, I came in as a walk-on, which is like being the bottom of the totem pole," Leonard said.
The hours of hard work paid off though, as former Head Coach Charlie Weatherbie and receivers coach and former player Marty Humphrey awarded Leonard with a scholarship following the season.
Although both coaches are now gone from the Warhawk program, Leonard has continued to put in hours of hard work to sure up the young receiving corps. His break out game came this past week in the conference opener at Arkansas State. He set new career highs with three receptions for 67 yards and his first score.
"It felt good to get my first career touchdown, but it's hard to be positive when the offense is just not executing like we know we can," Leonard said. "We've started off slow the past two games, so we need to fix that."
While fans may be quick to point to redshirt freshman quarterback Kolton Browning as to a possible cause to the sluggish Warhawk offense, Leonard sees it differently.
"Kolton has been doing real well in practice and he's always a hard worker," Leonard said. "This summer we worked hard on routes and tried to get a good chemistry going."
Despite all of his recent success, Leonard is quick to remember those that helped him get to this point in his career; most notably Humphrey.
"I thought he did a great job, with me, he just told me to expose people by focusing on my routes," Leonard said of his former teammate and position coach. "I need to call him and say thank you."
Leonard will look to continue building on his strong 2010 numbers this Saturday when ULM hosts Southeastern Louisiana in the home opener. Kick off is scheduled for 6pm.