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Illinois lineman selects Hawkeyes | College Sports


A strong performance at an Iowa football camp earlier this month led to Illinois prep lineman Cannon Leonard quickly accepting a scholarship offer from the Hawkeyes.

Leonard, a 6-foot-9, 265-pound offensive tackle from Iroquois West High School in Gilman, Ill., announced Tuesday on social media that he was committing to Iowa.

The decision came one day after the Hawkeyes became the first power-five program to offer a player who has a nearly seven-foot wingspan.

“After taking time to talk with my family, I have decided that I will be committing to further my academic and athletic career at the University of Iowa,’’ Leonard wrote.

Leonard’s older brother, Clayton, is an incoming freshman offensive lineman at Illinois, with its Champaign campus about 50 miles from the family’s hometown.

Cannon Leonard is the 12th player to become part of the Hawkeyes’ 2023 recruiting class and is the second offensive lineman in the class.

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Leighton Jones, a 6-3, 270-pound lineman from Brownsburg, Ind., announced intentions in February to sign with Iowa in December, the earliest time players in the 2023 senior class sign binding letters of intent.

Leonard also received scholarship offers from Army, Ball State, Eastern Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Florida Atlantic, Fordham, Illinois State, Long Island, Northern Illinois, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois, Western Illinois and Yale.

He was also receiving recruiting interest from Cincinnati, Illinois, Iowa State, Northwestern and Purdue.

The Leonard brothers helped Iroquois West earn its first Illinois playoff berth since 2006 last fall. The team finished 8-3, defeating Monmouth United in the opening round of Class 1A postseason play before falling to Abingdon-Avon.

A first-team all-Vermilion Valley Conference pick on both offense and defense, Leonard is ranked by Rivals as a three-star prospect on a five-star scale and is a two-star prospect according to 247Sports.

He earned all-area honors from the Champaign News-Gazette in football, basketball and track.

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