Leal Looks Toward Virginia Tech

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Mark Leal ‘s recruiting card

Mark Leal enjoyed a stellar career at Atlantic High School (Delray Beach, FL), finishing as the school’s career passing yardage leader with 5,087 yards and tying the career mark for touchdowns with 49. Former Bowling Green star signal caller Omar Jacobs, who was the previous holder of those two records, has served as Atlantic’s quarterbacks coach the past two seasons and has certainly helped Leal’s development.

“Coach Jacobs has been coaching me since the summer before my junior year,” Leal said. “He taught me how to read a defense. Other teams try to disguise things, so he taught me how to break down the defense. He showed me how to chop up film, look at the other team’s tendencies and what to watch out for.”

Jacobs helped the 6-1, 185-pound Virginia Tech recruit in high school and also passed along advice for the next level.

“He has told me how everything is faster and quicker on the next level. You have to make good decisions quickly. You have to pay attention and learn. You do most of your improving in the classroom, so he told me to take notes. He told me I need to study and study and study,” said Leal.

Leal is pleased with his own development as a senior, but disappointed ultimately because of the team’s 5-5 record. In 10 games, Leal completed 136 of 226 passes for 2,219 yards with 24 touchdowns to only three interceptions.

“I feel like I did have a great high school career,” Leal said. “Playing down here, where there’s a lot of speed, you have to make timely and accurate throws. I improved my accuracy my senior year, but it didn’t end like I wanted it to end. We had all the talent. Things just didn’t come together. We didn’t make the playoffs, so individual accomplishments don’t mean much.”

The next time Leal takes the field, he’ll be donning the maroon and orange of Virginia Tech. He is anxious for the opportunity.

“I’m ready. I’m ready to step up and perform,” said Leal, who plans to enroll at Tech next summer. “I’ll get there, compete, do my best and contribute however I can.”

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