Sport is made of effort and training, as well as emotions and dreams. Leo is the perfect representation of these four components together. Born and raised in France, he fell in love with American Football, when, in 2019, started playing as WR and DB for a team in Cannes, France. He then got to know Coach Mike Pina Jr, this past year as they were teammates on the Aix-En-Provence Argonautes in France.
This past July, Leo spent about 3 weeks in the United States doing prospect camps at multiple division 1 and 2 schools in New England. His goal is to earn a spot at a college in the U.S as a wide receiver or defensive back.
Leo’s story is inspiring for young players who would like to achieve their dreams following sports, and therefore, we asked him a few questions regarding his experience and any advice he could have for potential players.
How long have you been playing football? What position?
I started 3 years ago, in 2019 as a wide receiver and defensive back with the Iron Mask in Cannes, France. During summer of 2020 I moved for my studies and got transferred to the Argonautes in Aix-en-Provence, France. I played one year in the junior team. The last 2 years were special due to covid so I didn’t have a real season. I started training with the senior team during my junior season. During summer 2021, I definitely moved to the senior team and I had my first entire season as a wide receiver starter, in the French Division 1.
After my trip to America last summer, I decided to train as a defensive back and as a wide receiver too.
What do you like about the sport itself?
To me, this sport helped me find the right balance in my student life. When I’m on the field or in the weight room I think about nothing else than practice and perform and forget about studies or problems in general. It also helped me to be less aggressive in my daily life.
I also love the way your team becomes your second family: you know everybody because you are living with them most of the time.
How did you get in contact with QB Velocity?
During my 2022 season I played with Mike Pina, the owner of QB Velocity, he helped me by coaching me and giving me tips to become better. We often put in extra work outside of practice times, in the weight room and especially on the field to work on routes and techniques we would be using in games.
We spent a lot of time talking about America and what he had done and is doing, so he talked to me about his company. During my travels in America I met Mike Pina Sr. the co-owner of QB Velocity. I really loved the dedication of these 2 men, to train young people.
What pushed you to travel from France to the US for the showcase?
I talked with Mike Pina about my dream to come to play College football in America. He told me it would be a good idea to do some showcases and invited me to his showcase. I found that it could be a great opportunity for me to have such an experience, to train with great coaches and to compete with great players and if possible to earn some offers.
Talk about what your experience was like while you were in America for camps.
It was an amazing sports experience but also life experience. It was the first time I travelled alone and far away. It was a little bit stressful, but I realized every day that I was here to make my dream come true, so it helped me to stay motivated. I also realized that it was a chance to get there so I would like to thank my friends and family who motivated and helped me.
I did 7 camps at colleges close to Boston, I met a lot of coaches and athletes who wanted to compete and become better. It was a great way to learn new skills and to level up.
What are your dreams for the future?
Thanks to this experience I’m 100% sure that I want to play College football, it will be the experience of a lifetime. I’m a big dreamer so I want to play football at my highest level possible, and I’m working hard for it.
What are you looking to study? How are your grades?
In France I studied engineering and management so I can do both in America, and I love these 2 majors. The American equivalent to my French grades is around a 3 to 3.5 GPA.
Do you have any advice for young European football players?
First, dream big and work hard to achieve your dreams. If you have a chance to come to America or another country to play football just don’t be scared and take the first flight to go there. It is not a hazard that takes you there, it is only your motivation and commitment. It’s a unique experience, it’s worth trying. Do your trip and you’ll have no regrets.
Leo's story can be inspirational for many young athletes who are motivated to pursuing a career in sport, and a dream itself. Expanding one's horizons can help grow and build new opportunities.
Follow us on our social media accounts to be keep up with the QB Velocity community and get to know our athletes!