Moving the Chains with . . . SIU receiver Raphael Leonard

Moving the Chains with . . . SIU receiver Raphael Leonard
Southern Illinois receiver Raphael Leonard caught six passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns against Ole Miss. (photo courtesy of

Raphael Leonard is one of Southern Illinois' most recognizable players.

Much of that status comes from his having played at East Mississippi Community College in 2016, where Leonard was part of Season 2 of the popular Netflix documentary Last Chance U.

The 6-foot-2, 193-pound senior leads the Salukis in receptions. In fact, Leonard has caught at least one pass in every game he has suited up for SIU.

Get to know Raphel Leonard better in our Moving the Chains Q&A.


Hometown:  Starkville, Miss.

High School:  Starkville


What would you consider your greatest asset as a receiver?

Probably my length. I can high-point the ball really well. I'm good at jump balls in the red zone.

What is the most rewarding college course that you have taken?

I'm in a philosophy class right now. It's very difficult, but I'm learning a lot in it. It's interesting.

What are your two favorite pizza toppings?

Pepperoni and sausage.

What is your favorite kind of ice cream?

Vanilla. That's what I had mostly growing up; I'm just used to that.

What is a musical instrument you wish you knew how to play?

Guitar. That would be the coolest one out of them all. Electric guitar.

What are your favorite logos in professional sports?

The Cowboys are my favorite team. It's the star; that's my team. I also like the Saints logo. I'd say those two.

Who is your favorite talk show host?

I like watching "Undisputed" with Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe. It's really entertaining when those two go at it.

Who are your favorite characters in your favorite football movies?

In Friday Night Lights I like Bobbie Miles and Willie Beamen in Any Given Sunday. Bobbie was the prototypical big-headed star football player. I like the storyline in the movie and what was going on with him. Willie Beamen was a nobody on the team, and he showed he could play when he got the shot. Then he got the big head when he was doing good.

If a new Last Chance U was to be made, but in a different sport, what sport would you most like to see?

Basketball. If it wasn't football, that would be the only choice that would get my interest and get me to watch.


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