Cornerback Leonard Myers, who played his college ball at Miami and became a Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots, has passed away. He was just 38 years old, and George Richards of the Miami Herald recently reported that he lost his battle with cancer.
Myers enjoyed a terrific career at Miami, helping coach Butch Davis rebuild the program. He was a started in three years at the school, and he even won second-team all-Big East Conference honors during the 2000 season, despite having to fight through a foot injury.
In 2001, the Patriots drafted him in the sixth round. As a rookie, he not only made the roster but got playing time right away, making it into seven games. The Patriots ended up facing the heavily favored St. Louis Rams in the Super Bowl at the end of that season, but they pulled off the stunning upset and Myers got a Super Bowl ring.
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Myers has always had incredible love for his family. When he was a junior playing for Dillard High, his father passed away. Through the rest of high school, college, and his pro career, he honored his father by kissing his finger, pounding that fist against his heart, and then raising his hand to point into the sky.
When asked about his parents, Myers spoke fondly of both, saying:
“My dad used to say, ‘Don’t take anything for granted. Play hard – no regrets.’ I draw my strength from him and my mom. She showed a lot of courage and character when he was sick and after he passed, but now she’s like a ball of happiness. I look up at her in the stands, and she’s jumping up and down, tugging at my No. 22 jersey.”