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Hawks' Leon McQuay a chip off old (downfield) block

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Mon. September 14, 2009 | Joey Knight | Email

Among the host of impact newcomers at Armwood is one with a name familiar to most locals over the age of 45.

Freshman safety Leon McQuay, grandson of the former Blake High, University of Tampa and NFL running back of the same name, has cracked the Hawks' starting lineup. The younger McQuay (6-foot-2, 163 pounds) had two tackles and an interception in a season-opening 48-6 rout of Newsome.

"He beat out a senior captain at that position," Hawks coach Sean Callahan said. "He's going to make some ninth-grade mistakes, but we're making an investment in him."

The elder Leon McQuay, a small-college all-American at UT, ran for 3,039 yards and 37 touchdowns as a collegian, and played for the Giants, Patriots and Saints in a brief NFL career. He died of a heart attack in 1995 at age 45.

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