South Carolina State All-American linebacker Darius Leonard was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the second round of the 2018 National Football League Draft.
The Colts selected Leonard with the 36th pick overall. The 6-2, 235,Lake View, SC native was the first player selected from an (HBCU) Historically Black College in this year's draft, and was pegged by many pre-NFL draft websites as one of the top linebackers in the country in FCS/ I-AA.
Leonard is the third Bulldog to be selected this high in the NFL draft. Defensive end Robert Porcher was taken in the first round with the 26th pick in 1992 by the Detroit Lions and Anthony Cook, went 35th overall to the Houston Oilers in the second round of the 1995 draft. The Bulldogs' most recent draftee was Pittsburg Steelers defensive lineman Javon Hargrave selected in the third round with the 89th pick of the 2016 draft.
A two-time MEAC defensive player of the year and a first-team selection on the 2017 STATS FCS All-America Team, totaled a school-record 394 tackles in his career. Leonard racked up a game-high 14 tackles at college football's premier All-Star game and earned Most Valuable Player on Defense in the Reese's Senior Bowl held last month in Mobile, Alabama.
He also became the school’s All-Time Leading Tackler and is considered one of the most decorated defensive players to wear the uniform, earning multiple All-American honors, and is the fourth Bulldog invited to the NFL combine since Javon Hargrave (Pittsburgh) in 2016, Arther Love in 1999 (New England) and Christian Thompson in 2012 (Baltimore Ravens).