PISCATAWAY, NJ - Rutgers fullback Brian Leonard, a two-time first-team All-America selection by Pro Football Weekly, has announced that he will not enter the NFL Draft and will return for his final season as a member of the Scarlet Knights' football team in 2006.
“I sat down with my parents, and we discussed this for long hours at a time. I felt throughout my college career that I proved that I can play at the next level,” Leonard said. “But there's one thing I haven't proved, and that's taking Rutgers to a BCS (bowl) game and winning a championship.
“I see Rutgers as a powerhouse in the future, and I want to be a part of it. So, it was my heartfelt decision that I'll be back for my senior year,” Leonard added.
The 6-2, 235-pound Leonard, (Gouverneur, NY), led Rutgers to its first winning season since 1992 and a berth in the Insight Bowl, the Scarlet Knights' first bowl appearance in 27 years. A two-time All-BIG EAST Conference selection, Leonard rushed for 740 yards and 11 TDs, and also caught 55 passes for 568 yards and six touchdowns, for the Scarlet Knights in 2005.
Leonard, a Doak Walker Award candidate (given annually to the nation's top running back) in both 2004 and 2005, has rushed for 2,352 yards in three seasons at Rutgers, sixth best all-time. The two-time All-BIG EAST Conference selection has also caught 169 career passes, third best at Rutgers, and has scored 242 career points, second all-time on the Rutgers scoring list.“It's a great decision for Brian Leonard, and a great decision for Rutgers University. He's an elite level football player. But, more importantly, is the type of person he is,” head coach Greg Schiano said of Leonard's decision. “He will assume an even larger leadership role on our football team now that he's a senior. It's special that he's going to be part of our team next year, because he's a special, special guy.”