Highschool Stars: Duke Leonard

Hunter Mancuso

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Photo provided by Duke Leonard

Leonard at his commitment trip to Fordham University

The majority of people who go to Cypress Woods High School have heard of Duke Leonard. He’s a towering football player who is loved by most. Leonard’s fans had a chance to support him by nominating Leonard for Houston Offensive Lineman of the Year by Vype Sports, a high school sports magazine.

25 offensive linemen from high schools in the Texas area were nominated for this award. It is fan-voted and whoever got the highest percentage of votes won the award. Leonard finished 8th in the competition acquiring 2.29% of the vote. He finished above 17 out of the 25 other competitors. To Leonard, it was special to be nominated for the award.

“Just to be nominated was a huge honor,” said the offensive lineman. “To be considered one of the best offensive linemen in Houston, considering all of the talent we have in this city, is amazing.”

Leonard’s main focus was primarily on the nomination itself rather than obtaining the actual win.

“Winning wasn’t necessarily important with this; it was just amazing to be considered, so I was content with whatever the outcome was,” said Leonard.

Leonard emerged as the highest-ranking player out of the Cy-Fair school district, beating out the only other candidate on the list, Bryce Simpson, from Cypress Ranch High School.

Having his name in the news isn’t anything new for Leonard. In the summer of 2020, Leonard committed to Fordham University in New York to play football. He uses his experience to correct his mindset. He uses his mentality and turned the voting outcome into fuel.

“I definitely think this is going to motivate me,” said Leonard. “I always strive to be the best.”

Leonard is set up for big things going forward, and ranking so high on a state-level contest is a step in the right direction for the offensive lineman.