Nine-year NFL veteran Jim Leonhard remains a free agent after spending 2013 with the Buffalo Bills and while he hopes to latch onto another team before long, a return to his alma mater could be in order. According to CheeseheadTV's Brian Carriveau, Leonhard has his eyes on returning to Madison to help coach the Wisconsin Badgers. Hat tip to friend-of-B5Q Tex Western for some solid points, as well.
Jim Leonhard was very adamant about living in Madison after his career is over and having some role with the University of Wisconsin.— Brian Carriveau (@BrianCarriveau) July 14, 2014
@TexWestern To hear him talk, it seems like a done deal that they want to hire him in some capacity.— Brian Carriveau (@BrianCarriveau) July 14, 2014
@BrianCarriveau Could foresee him being a great recruiter as well, selling the success UW has with walk-ons— Tex Western (@TexWestern) July 14, 2014
Leonhard spent 2001-04 at Wisconsin, where he initially began his college career as a walk-on before earning a scholarship in 2002. He was a three-time All-American (2002-04) at safety and also held the Big Ten career punt return yardage record with 1,347 before it was broken by Michigan's Steve Breaston in 2006.
It seems like bringing Leonhard back into the fold at UW would be a no-brainer. Gary Andersen's exhibited a strong interest in maintaining and strengthening the program's ties with its alumni, and Leonhard surely has some fantastic lessons to share with the Badgers. His path from walk-on to All-American and long-time NFL veteran is special, and there's certainly some value younger athletes could gain from his tutelage.