QUINCY -- The nation's leading tackler deserved a spot on the American Football Coaches Association NCAA Division II All-American team.
Quincy University senior linebacker Cody Leonard, who piled up 168 tackles in his record-setting season, was named to the AFCA second team Wednesday, becoming the first QU player to earn All-American honors at the D-II level. He averaged 15.2 tackles per game and had 10 or more tackles in each of the Hawks' 11 games.
"There's no doubt Cody proved what he can do this year," QU coach Gary Bass said. "He's a tackling machine."
Dan Camp, a linebacker, was QU's last All-American, earning third-team honors from Beyond Sports Network in 2011. Jacob Zsuppon, another linebacker, was an honorable mention NAIA All-American in 2008.
The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Leonard passed both of them to become the all-time leading tackler in program history. He finished his four-year career with 376 total tackles and 223 solo tackles. Zsuppon now sits second in QU history with 348 stops, while Camp is fourth with 301.
"It makes you feel good as a coach to see a guy reached a goal he talked about at the beginning of the year," Bass said. "He wanted to be the best tackler in the country and the best in school history."
Leonard was named the Great Lakes Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year, a first-team all-conference selection and a first-team all-region pick by the D2CCA. It made him eligible for All-American plaudits.
"He deserved it," Bass said. "He's earned everything he's received."
Leonard is playing this weekend