By David Udel
Don’t think that when we interview certain players we are not star struck at times. Well that was the case tonight when I got to interview Miami legend, Leon Searcy.
Leon, or Godzilla as he was called by Miami linebacker Mike Barrow, was a three time national champion at Miami. He was introduced into the Miami Hall Of Fame in 2003. In my humble opinion Leon Searcy and Bryant McKinnie were the best two Offensive Tackles to ever wear the Orange and Green.
Last year when FL.U.ST Sports made our All Time 1st Team Players from the State of Florida, both Leon and Bryant were our starting Tackles. So for me personally, it was an honor to do this interview.
So I got to ask Leon five questions. Wow was I blown away from his answers and stories that Im about to share with all of you.
- So how is life treating you after retiring from a eleven year career in the NFL?
Good, I have a radio show called XL PRIMETIME – LUNCH WITH LEON. Monday through Friday between 12 to 3 on 92.5 FM radio in Jacksonville. You can download a APP from the google play store called 1010XL Radio to here my show from anywhere.
Im also very to excited to be releasing a new clothing line just for O-Linemen in April called, Real Men Block.
2. So as a Canes fan since 1971, I just had to ask, what was the difference between winning a Championship for Coach Johnson compared to winning two for coach Erickson?
Well lets just say playing for Coach Johnson was no trip to the Country Club. Coach Johnson was all buissness, all the time. Every practice, workout, or meeting was brutal. Johnson was a total perfectionist who demanded everything from us that we had as players. Johnson Hated weakness of any kind, and if you didn’t want to loose your scholarship, your better not show weakness. Johnson would threaten us he would take our schollarship away if we were not 100 percent commited to perfection. Don’t get me wrong, I loved coach Johnson, but to be quite honest, I was scared of coach Johnson.
Erickson on the other had was like a substitute teacher compared to Johnson. Thats not to say at all he was not a perfectionist, because he was. But you didn’t have to always be on guard with Coach Erickson. We could get away with a little more playing around under coach Erickson than coach Johnson. Erickson was great in the fact he brought a newer offence to Miami. The one running back, with three wide receivers. So I enjoyed playing for coach Erickson for that reason.
With Coach Johnson, we actually had kids sneak out of the program in the middle of the night because they we’re scared of him, (Leon said with a chuckle.)
3. What do you think of our new O-Line coach Butch Barry and this years O-Line?
Butch Barry did a good job at Tampa, but I wouldn’t call it a hallelujah type hire just yet. But lets see if he can coach them up. Last years Oline had no real aggression, or even proper technique. I put that on bad coaching, because we got some studs on our Oline. I believe with the right coaching, our Oline will do just fine.
4. What are your thoughts on the Diaz hire?
Well lets first talk about CMR. CMR did some good things like a ten win season. CMR won us our first bowl game in a long time. CMR was a good recruiter, but there we’re some obvious issues. Loosing to Wisconsin in the bowl game like we did, was just embarrassing to the program.
Hopefully Diaz brings more discipline and accountability to Miami.
Diaz firing the whole offensive staff was a great move in my opinion. Diaz wants to make everyone accountable for thier actions and achieve ultimate sucess. It was obvious the entire offencive staff failed, and a new culture had to be put in place.
He seems like a Miami coach I’d recognize as a Miami type coach, but only time will tell.
5. You played on three National Championship teams. Out of all the guys you played with, who are the guys you would put on your Mt.Rushmore of the teammates you played with?
Dave, this is a hard hard question. But here goes,
- Michael Irvin, he embodied Canes football. Plain and simple, Irvin was just everything a Miami Hurricane is sapose to be.
- Russell Marynd, aka the Dancing Bear. Russell was the best Defensive Tackle I ever played with.
- Cortez Kennedy would have to be on my Mt.Rushmore as well. Kennedy was a great player and teammate.
- Michael Barrow. We both called each other Godzilla. Barrow was the only guy to knock me off my feet at Green Tree. We were running a one back counter trey play. The guard and tackle both pull and the center picks up the middle linebacker so he cant cut me off. Well Barrow shot the gap and beat our center, and hit me so hard he knocked me off my feet. (Leon was laughing during this whole story)
The next play coach Erickson called a sweep or something, but I siad hell no. Coach we’re running a quick draw. See on the quick draw I shoot right out and hit the middle linebacker, (Mike Barrow) because it’s payback time. So we snapped the ball and dam if Barrow didn’t shoot the gap again leaving me with no one to hit. Well, except Jessie Armstead who just happened to be there, so I knocked the crap out of him instead. I’m sure Jessie was like, what the hell did I do?
Well I just want to thank Leon for his time and as a Cane from way back, it made my day talking football with Leon Searcy.
Don’t forget to catch his radio show, Lunch With Leon.