Wisconsin Sports Network and WisSports.net are proud to announce Whitefish Bay's Jackson Weber as the 2012 recipient of the Jim Leonhard Award as the most outstanding senior defensive back in Wisconsin, part of the WSN Senior Football Awards.
Weber is one of the more versatile players in the state, earning All- Conference honors at both receiver and defensive back in his career. In his senior season he has flown all over the field for the Blue Dukes, recording 121 tackles (77 solo), 5 interceptions, and 11 pass break-ups. He returned one of those interceptions for a touchdown and also blocked three kicks.
“I have coached 36 years with two players in the NFL and he is as good as them,” said head coach Jim Tietjen.
Whitefish Bay featured one of the top defenses in the state this year, allowing just 7.3 points per game as they claimed a share of the North Shore title and advanced to the Division 2 state semi-finals.
Finalists for the award were Weber, Carvel Graham of Kenosha Bradford, Eric Kittel of Brillion, Ryan Makuski of Amherst, and Kegan Wirtz of West De Pere.
Past winners of the award include Marquette's Michael Trotter (2009), Appleton North's Joe Makeever (2010), and Edgar's Kyle Schueller (2011).
The award is named after Jim Leonhard, one of the most beloved players from the state of Wisconsin. Hailing from tiny Tony, Wisconsin and attending Flambeau High School, Leonhard was a two-time All-State selection. He walked-on at the University of Wisconsin, and quickly established himself as a leader and outstanding player. He started 39 games in his career, and his 21 career interceptions are tied for the most in Badger history and fourth in the Big Ten. He also broke the Big Ten punt return yardage record. Leonhard went undrafted, but hooked on with the Buffalo Bills before moving to the Baltimore Ravens. In 2009 he signed with the New York Jets and is now with the Denver Broncos.
The voting panel for the WSN Senior Football Awards consisted of: Travis Wilson, WSN Content Manager and Head Football Writer; Nicholas Kartos, WSN President and Founder; Norbert Durst, WSN Content Producer; Dennis Semrau, Wisconsin State Journal; Justin Hull, WSCO The Score 95.3 in Appleton; John Casper Jr., La Crosse Tribune; Dan Barwick, WSN Associate Content Producer