Our guest today was former Miami Hurricane, 11 year NFL vet & 3X National Champion, Leon Searcy. Our media guest was yet another sports journalist alum from the UF School of Journalism, Dan Hicken.
How many DIV 1 college football players can claim that they have won THREE National Championships? Our guest on the PodUp this Friday is former Miami Hurricane, 11 year NFL vet & 3X National Champion, Leon Searcy.
Searcy is the 3rd hurricane to visit with Shane on the PodUp. Leon will share his story about football, perseverance, winning, cigars & how his parents forced him to earn a 3.0 GPA in high school to be able to play football.
Searcy currently works as a radio personality in Jacksonville, 1010 xl. “Lunch with Leon” featuring Leon Searcy from noon-1PM. He dabbles with a few other businesses like cigars & sports apparel & is about to release his own cigar brand. He is also promoting his new book which will be available on Amazon next month.
Leon Searcy spent 5 seasons as an offensive tackle at the University of Miami, lettering from 1988-91. By the time his collegiate career concluded Leon was a No. 1 draft pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers – 11th overall. Among the most impressive feats recorded by Searcy was the fact that he started every game in his final 3 seasons. Leon’s senior year was his greatest. He earned First-Team All-America honors from the Football Writers Association of America, & Second-Team All-America honors from The Sporting News, The Football News, & Associated Press. He was an All-BIG EAST first-team selection in the league’s inaugural football campaign. After being selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Leon spent his first four seasons in the “Steel City” until 1995. He then signed on with the Jacksonville Jaguars, playing from 1996-2000. After spending the 2001 season with the Baltimore Ravens, Searcy signed on with the Miami Dolphins for the 2002 season. Among his professional accolades over his 11 NFL seasons, Leon was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1996 and 1997. He also played in Super Bowl XXX with the Steelers. He was inducted into the University of Miami Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. He started in 111 NFL games. HE WAS Rated one of the greatest linemen in University of Miami history.
The Jacksonville Jaguars names Searcy #14 on The Jaguar All-25 series. Searcy said, ” I tell people this all the time. I was born a Steeler, but I was raised a Jaguar. That’s my focal point. I love both organizations. I love the Steelers for drafting me & had the opportunity to play in the Super Bowl with the Steelers. I probably had more success career-wise with the Jaguars than I did with the Steelers. I try not to teeter on either side; I love both organizations. Jacksonville is my team.”
With only one year of high school football at Maynard Evans High School in Orlando, Florida, Searcy fell in love with football. His parents would only allow him to play ball if his grades did not exceed a 3.0 GPA. He never played a down of a high school football until his senior year at Evans High.
Hicken graduated from UF. His first job in television was an internship with 12 News on WTLV in Jacksonville immediately after college graduation. He rose steadily at the station, becoming a sports producer in 1986, weekend sports anchor two years later, then sports director in 1991 after six years at WTLV. Hicken personally reports on big local events, such as The Players Championship, Jacksonville Jaguars games, & the Daytona 500. He also travels to national events with a Florida connection including National Championship games like the Florida Gators. On the radio, he also hosts “The Drill” between 7 am and 10 am on WJXL
Hicken is a Heisman Trophy voter. He won a regional Emmy for his series on Jacksonville’s quest for an NFL team, & an award for the best sportscaster in the state of Florida in 1992. He received the 2008 Best Sportscast 1st place WTLV/WJXX “Sports Final”, & the 3rd place Sports Feature/Commentary – Television: Desire Street at the 2006 Sunshine State Awards. He has also been honored by Folio Weekly as Jacksonville’s Best Sportscaster.
Dan is married to wife Reagan, & has 3 children: Danielle, Drew & Brooks. In his spare time, you can find Dan at a local ball field questioning umpires, berating referees, & making a fool out of himself.