Leons Kabongo has been in the United States for less than three years. In the two years he has played high school football for Gar-Field’s (Woodbridge, VA) varsity football squad (the first two years he has ever played the game), he has demonstrated outstanding work ethic and talent and, amazingly, earned Cardinal District Defensive Player of the Year this past season as a junior.
“Leons is extremely unique in that he has only been in the country for less than three years,” Gar-Field head coach Joe Mangano said. “He is from the Congo, Africa. His dad came to the United States initially and then brought his family over.
“He never knew anything about football until he came here. He walked in the door one day – he was about 170 pounds – and said he wanted to try out for the team. I said go ahead and get in the weight room. Sure enough, he showed a very determined work ethic. He has a disciplined work ethic. This year, we stuck him at middle linebacker since he was about 190 pounds. He finished the season with 106 tackles including 19 tackles-for-loss. He was named all-Northwest region and second-team all-state. He had 26 tackles in the Petersburg game.”
In addition to his excellent work ethic, Kabongo has shown above average athleticism as well.
“He has great closing speed,” Mangano said. “He’s explosive. I was talking to a coach [last week] who told me Leons closed really quick. Leons just has such great upside. He is only 5-10-ish, about 190 pounds. He does not have prototypical size for a linebacker, but he has grown by leaps and bounds since he started. He went from never having played the game two years ago to second-team all-state.”
The Gar-Field defensive star likely projects as a safety on the next level. He is drawing some 1A interest, but schools are waiting to see him in person before offering.
“Coaches want to come and see him up close and personal,” Mangano said. “They want to have him come up and go to some camps. They need to work him out and everything. I think if he goes to camps then he definitely will get offers.”
Coach Mangano has sent...
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