Wisconsin Sports Network and WisSports.net are proud to announce Appleton North's Connor Rolain as the 2013 recipient of the Jim Leonhard Award as the most outstanding senior defensive back in Wisconsin, part of the WSN Senior Football Awards.
Rolain repeated as VFA-North Defensive Back of the Year as a senior, and added Defensive Player of the Year honors as well. He recorded 58 tackles, 5 for loss, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions.
"His ability to defend the pass from the safety position and still dominate the run game is remarkable," said North coach Rob Salm. "In our first playoff game he blocked a field goal, defended two passes, and led the team with 14 tackles. He truly is the best all-around football player I've coached in 23 years."
Rolain was recently named a WFCA First Team All-State choice. He is the second player from Appleton North to win the award, joining 2010 winner Joe Makeever.
Finalists for the award were Rolain, Marcus Collins of Madison La Follette, Will Daniels of Green Bay Preble, Bryce Juedes of Homestead, and Daulton Varsho of Marshfield.
Past winners of the award include Marquette's Michael Trotter (2009), Appleton North's Joe Makeever (2010), Edgar's Kyle Schueller (2011), and Whitefish Bay's Jackson Weber (2012).
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; JR Radcliffe, NOW Newspapers; Dan Barwick, WSN Contributor