HomeSportsColts' Darius Leonard wants to be known as Shaquille from now on

Colts’ Darius Leonard wants to be known as Shaquille from now on


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Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard kicked off training camp Tuesday with some news.

He no longer wants to be known as Darius Leonard.

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Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Darius Leonard, #53, stirs up the crowd in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 19, 2021.
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)

The three-time All-Pro linebacker, who turned 27 on Wednesday, said he had been called Shaquille all his life and now it was time to come back. His full name is Darius Shaquille Leonard.

“I went by Shaquille my whole life. My mom called me Shaquille. My friends and family called me Shaquille,” Leonard said, via FOX59. “I never went after Darius. Just at school or when he was causing trouble.”

He said he kept some things to himself on the advice of Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss.

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Darius Leonard, #53 of the Indianapolis Colts, on the field in the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 2, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Darius Leonard, #53 of the Indianapolis Colts, on the field in the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 2, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
(Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

“He said, ‘The best advice I can give you is to keep your mouth shut and your ears and eyes open.’ So I came in and wanted to work. I just kept going,” he said.

“I love being called Shaquille. I hate being called Darius. I understand it’s going to be hard, but I would love for them to try calling me Shaquille or D or Maniac and not Darius.”

Leonard is physically unable to perform (PUP) to start training camp after undergoing back surgery in June.

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard, #53, reacts during AFC practice at Las Vegas Ballpark on Feb. 5, 2022.

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard, #53, reacts during AFC practice at Las Vegas Ballpark on Feb. 5, 2022.
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

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He is about to start his fifth season with the Colts. He has been a Pro Bowler in each of the first four seasons of his career.



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