Leonard wins Draddy Trophy as top scholar athlete

NEW YORK -- Rutgers fullback Brian Leonard won the Draddy Trophy on Tuesday night, given to college football's top scholar athlete.

Leonard was one of 17 finalists from all levels of college football honored at the National Football Foundation awards banquet.

A labor and employment major, Leonard has been a huge part of the Scarlet Knights' turnaround the past two seasons. He became the school's career scoring leader this season, but mostly he deferred to tailback Ray Rice after being the focal point of Rutgers' offense for much of his career.

With Leonard's blocking and receiving used to complement Rice's running, Rutgers went 10-2.

Leonard receives a $25,000 scholarship for postgraduate studies for winning the award.

The other Division I-A finalists were Florida quarterback Chris Leak; Penn State linebacker Paul Posluszny; Colorado guard Brian Daniels; Connecticut defensive tackle Rhema Fuller; West Virginia linebacker Jay Henry; Oklahoma defensive tackle Carl Pendleton; Wisconsin tackle Joe Thomas; and Wyoming safety John Wendling.

The I-AA finalists were Yale offensive lineman Ed McCarthy; St. Francis, Pa., receiver Luke Palko and Alabama A&M offensive lineman Kristian Smith.

Ferris State linebacker Michael Klobucher and Pittsburgh State defensive end Ryan Meredith were the Division II finalists.

Carnegie Mellon defensive back Aaron Lewis and St. Thomas receiver P.J. Theisen were picked from Division III, and Ambrose center Brad Cook was picked from NAIA.

LSU offensive lineman Rudy Niswanger won the Draddy Trophy last year.