The coaching shuffle that went down Thursday at North Texas also has impacted the Ryan football team. Junior defensive tackle Dayton LeBlanc, whose father, Derrick LeBlanc, is on his way to Kentucky after one year as UNT’s defensive line coach, also is leaving after just one season with the Raiders.
LeBlanc confirmed this morning that he will follow his father.
“It’s hard, but I’ve come to accept it,” LeBlanc said. “I love everyone at Ryan and I hope for the best for everyone. I just hope I end up at a school with great coaches like I had here.
“I’m going to continue working out with my teammates right up until I leave.”
LeBlanc moved from Mississippi before the start of last season and immediately became a starter at tackle for a defensive unit already rich in talent. He finished the year with 77 tackles (17 for loss), three fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles. He returned two for touchdowns.
The Raiders went 14-1 this past season, and while their offense remains pretty much intact, almost everyone is gone on the defensive side. That includes Earnest Brown IV (Northwestern), Tyreke Davis (North Texas) and Delano Robinson (SMU).
LeBlanc would have been the only returning starter on the defensive line next year.
“We hate to see Dayton go, and we wish him and his dad the best,” Ryan coach Dave Henigan said. “He’s a great player and a great leader. It’s definitely tough for the Raiders, and I know it’s tough for Dayton.”
Our UNT beat writer, Brett Vito, confirmed Thursday that Derrick LeBlanc was leaving the program to take the same post at Kentucky. He’s one of four Mean Green assistants who have left the program. You can read that story here.
STEVE GAMEL can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @NewspaperSteve.