Often, when you have a hire of an assistant coach, the analysis is simple. They were probably really good at a lower level, and you can see what they've done on the trail. You'll know what you're getting.
If not, they'll get no expectations coming in and we'll see what they can do. It's a no-pressure situation when you find an assistant coach getting their first job.
That's not to say that I can't see the quality in this hire. You have the personification of just what can happen for the Badgers if you take the walk-on offer, and someone who had an NFL career that lasted a decade (427 tackles, 14 interceptions) where you played for five teams definitely will get his foot in the door on the recruiting trail. When it comes to tangible experience? There's a question that's yet to be answered.
Was he a coach on the field before his career ended? Yes, and he seemed to do well according to reports from his final NFL stop with the Cleveland Browns.
There is a major difference between getting your foot in the door on the recruiting trail and closing on the recruiting trail. I'm not telling you that Leonhard won't be a potentially massive assistance on the trail, but the information that we have is pretty close to zero.
This is probably going to be one of the assistant hires that has the most attention paid to it -- and teaching wise, I'm willing to say that the Leonhard has a chance to be great.
On the recruiting trail, we'll see.
With that said, however, reactions to the Leonhard hire from former NFL teammates and others' with football experience show confidence in his abilities to get the job done in Madison.
Jay Feely (@jayfeely) February 20, 2016
Helluva hire by Wisconsin https://t.co/I8iN82nfng— Damien Woody (@damienwoody) February 20, 2016
Antonio Fenelus (@YoYoAceAJ) February 20, 2016
This may be on of the best hires in#collegefootball this year..my man I love this guy can't wait to watch him work. https://t.co/o8ro9pYL3V— Brandon M. Williams (@iambrandonmw) February 20, 2016
The only thing that could top this was if they hired me as the WR Coach ..j/k Coach Gilmore is a stud. https://t.co/o8ro9pYL3V— Brandon M. Williams (@iambrandonmw) February 20, 2016
Taylor Mehlhaff (@tmehlhaff10) February 20, 2016