Posted: 12:00 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014

Lebanon standout will play at Mount Union

By John Cummings

Contributing Writer

Eric Leichliter has always been one to make sure all the boxes are checked.

A future computer science major, he took several visits to each college he was considering, did research on the programs they offer, looked at acceptance rates, the football facilities … you name, he found it and checked it.

“You should have seen it,” Leichliter said. “We had spreadsheets that had everything noted for each school. My mom (Cathy) helped me out a ton. She has a degree in computer science too, so she knew how to help me find certain things out about each school.”

Leichliter left money on the table, selecting Division III Mt. Union over offers from Division II Urbana, Hartings and Walsh. Ohio Northern, another D-III school, was also on his final list.

“I wanted to pick a place where I would enjoy four years of college,” Leichliter said. “Mt. Union is one of the places you need to go if you want to play college football. I’ve been up there four times and I felt like it was the best place for me, academically as well.”

Mt. Union was upset in the Stagg Bowl this year, suffering their first loss since the 2011 championship game. Since 2000, the Purple Raiders have won six NCAA titles, reaching the championship game – the Stagg Bowl – every year except one.

“They do pretty well every year,” Leichliter said. “If you go there and do everything the team does, you get to wear a jersey and they were really interested in me and think I will be an impact player as a freshman.”

Leichliter knows that could include being on the scout team, but he is fine with that.

“My parents knew Mt. Union was the right place for me so instead of waiting around, I called the coach,” Leichliter said. “The recruiting process is maddening. It is crazy, there is a lot of pressure. I was very satisfied when it was finally over.”

Leichliter played guard for the Warriors, but is unsure where on the offensive line the Purple Raiders will use him.

For now, he is just enjoying having made the decision and taking in the rest of his senior year.

“I want to enjoy the rest of my senior year,” Leichliter said. “Baseball is getting ready to start and I am looking forward to that, but I will still be getting after it and getting stronger.”

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