Lions Sign Arena Bowl MVP
The Columbus Lions have landed a star-studded signing with the announcement that Maurice Leggett is coming to bolster the Lions' secondary. Leggett, who played high school football at Mount Zion High School in Jonesboro, Georgia, has enjoyed a long career with many accomplishments. Those started after he graduated high school where his play got him the honor for the team to retire his jersey. He would go on to attend Valdosta State University where the Blazers would win two Division II National Championships in 2004 and 2007. In 2006, Leggett was honored with first-team All-Gulf South honors.
Despite all the accomplishments, Leggett went undrafted in the 2008 NFL Draft but signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent. After a productive rookie season where he racked up 37 tackles, six pass deflections and a pick-six, Leggett was honored with the Mack Lee Hill Award for Most Outstanding Rookie for the Chiefs, He was the first undrafted free agent to receive the award which dates back to 1966. However, back to back stints on injured reserve sidetracked his NFL career and in 2010, he was not resigned by Kansas City. In 2011, Leggett was signed by the Detroit Lions but was released later that year when his injury didn't heal. After taking 2012 off, Leggett would resume his football career in 2013 when he signed with the Utah Blaze of the Arena Football League recording 56 tackles, 21 pass deflections, three forced fumbles and five interceptions with one resulting in a touchdown. The Blaze would finish 7-11 that season. After a stint with the Philadelphia Soul where he would never play a snap for the team, Leggett signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2014.
In 2014, Leggett has 66 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles and five interceptions, which was tied for second in the CFL, in a breakout year. He was Winnipeg's nominee for the CFL Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year Award and received a three-year contact extension. In 2015 Leggett had 59 tackles, five quarterback hurries and one interception. 2016 saw him voted as Winnipeg's top defensive player as he led the CFL with seven interceptions, three of which were returned for touchdowns. His play in 2016 led him to be a CFL West All-Star.
2017 saw another amazing performance from Leggett. He was named a "Shaw CFL Top Performer of the Week" after scoring two touchdowns in the Banjo Bowl in a 48-28 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. It was only the third time in the past 30 years that a CFL defensive player had multiple touchdowns in a game. Unfortunately, on October 15, 2017, Leggett suffered a torn Achilles tendon ending his season where he saw 50 tackles, three sacks, three interceptions and one touchdown. The following season saw Leggett suffering another injury during practice, ending his time with the Blue Bombers.
But for Leggett, he came back from his injuries once again and signed with the Albany Empire in time for the final regular season game. He would help the Empire crush the Baltimore Brigade to advance to ArenaBowl XXXII. He recorded Albany's first points when he took an interception back 54-yards for a touchdown en route to Albany's 45-27 win over the Philadelphia Soul for the team's first ArenaBowl Championship.
Now the accomplished defensive back turns his sights to the NAL to join an increasingly dangerous Columbus Lions' defense. "Maurice is the ultimate professional, we can't wait to introduce him to the fans of Columbus and the WR's in the NAL" said head coach Jason Gibson after the signing.
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