ROCK HILL, S.C. – Former Carson-Newman football tight end, Seattle Seahawk and Philadelphia Eagle Leonard Weaver was inducted into the South Atlantic Conference Hall of Fame Thursday night during a ceremony at the Hyatt Regency in Greenville, S.C.
Weaver becomes the 15th Carson-Newman Eagle, and the sixth person affiliated with the football program to be set for induction into the prestigious body.
He joins Wingate football alum John Bowman, Tusculum golf coach Bob Dibble, Newberry volleyball player and golfer Aubry Mosley, and former Mars Hill cross country alumnae Becca Pizzi among this year's class.
"There's more to this than just me," Weaver said. "It started with Ken Sparks, Mike Turner and the rest of the coaching staff, it goes on to the guy who I played with. It's an esteemed honor to even be thought of for this Hall of Fame."
Weaver led Carson-Newman to the second round of the NCAA playoffs on three occasions and helped guide the Eagles to a trio of South Atlantic Conference regular season titles before pursuing a five-year NFL career that led to a pair of all-pro selections.
He began his college football career at Carson-Newman as a linebacker, making nine tackles in two starts as a redshirt freshman in 2001.
The next year he moved to tight end. In 2003, Weaver hauled in 16 receptions for 410 yards and six TDs. In the Division II Playoffs that year, he hauled in a 67-yard touchdown reception.
In his final year, still a tight end, Weaver earned Division II All-American honors from the AP, American Football Coaches Association and others.
He led the 9-3 Carson-Newman Eagles to a conference championship and the second round of the Division II playoffs with 27 catches for 571 yards and eight score, leading all Eagles receivers.
Weaver was signed by the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2005 and converted to the fullback position. After starting fullback Mack Strong suffered a herniated disk in his neck, prompting him to retire, Weaver was named the Seahawks starting fullback.
His first start was against the New Orleans Saints, where Weaver had three carries for 40 yards and three receptions for 53 yards. He recorded his first touchdown against the St. Louis Rams on November 25, 2007 on a 5-yard run.
Weaver, who was an unrestricted free agent after the 2008 season, signed a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on March 20, 2009. He scored his first touchdown as a Philadelphia Eagle on November 1, 2009 against the New York Giants on a 41-yard run. Weaver finished the season as the best fullback in the NFL. His rushing total was his career high, with 70 carries for 323 yards and one touchdown.
However, he was most valued for his blocking ability. Weaver was selected to the 2010 Pro Bowl as a starting fullback. He was also voted to First Team All-Pro for the 2009 season.
As a restricted free agent heading into the offseason, Weaver signed a three-year contract worth $11 million with $6.5 million guaranteed. This deal made him the highest paid fullback in NFL history.
He was nicknamed "The Bishop" at Carson-Newman for his proclivity to spend free time traveling with a ministry in the off-season singing Christian themed R&B music.
Weaver is currently self-employed and works as a mentor and life coach as well as an R&B singer.