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Leake had 140 tackles and 10 sacks as a linebacker for Scott Phillips's Plano East team. He also rushed for 900 yards and 11 touchdowns as a running back. He was named unanimous all-district on offense and defense. Leake helped Plano East to an 11-3 record this year and the Final Four of the state 5A playoffs. His season included a 160-yard rushing game against archrival Plano High School and a 17-tackle performance against North Mesquite High in the state playoffs. A two-year starter at linebacker, Leake had 85 tackles for Plano East's 9-3 team of 1998. A fine all-around athlete, Leake averaged seven points and 10 rebounds a game for the Plano East basketball team this year and also competes in the triple jump, long jump, high jump and sprints on the track team. He played baseball as a junior. Leake is the first Clemson signee from the state of Texas since Darnell Stephens (Commerce) in 1991. Leake narrowed his selections to Clemson, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Wyoming. His father, Mike Leake, was a wide receiver at Wyoming in the 1960s.

"We were very impressed with John Leake," said Head Coach Tommy Bowden. "He is a good all-around athlete. Coach (Rich) Rodriguez discovered him when he was in Dallas for a speaking engagement. We got some film on him and both Reggie Herring and I thought he would be a very good addition to our program. He is a fine student and played for a 5A program in Texas."


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