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County : NEWS FLASH

Palmdale's Leonard Commits to Stanford

January 21, 1998|DAVE DESMOND

Defensive lineman Matt Leonard of Palmdale High, among the nation's most heavily recruited players, has committed to Stanford.

The 6-foot-4, 290-pound Leonard, The Times' Valley lineman of the year and selected All-American by one publication, notified the Cardinal coaching staff of his decision Monday night.

"It's a big relief," said Leonard, who also considered Arizona, UCLA and Notre Dame. "Some guys like the recruiting process, but personally, I didn't like it at all."

Leonard plans to major in computer science. He narrowed his choices to Stanford and Arizona, where his brother, Malosi, was a redshirt last season.

"[Malosi] told me to do whatever was best for me," said Leonard, who was ranked the ninth-best recruit in the Far West by SuperPrep magazine. "Ultimately, it came down to Stanford's combination of great academics and great football."

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