Washington High School senior Garitt Leisure on Wednesday, Feb. 5 signed a letter of intent to attend Ohio Dominican University, where he will continue his education and his athletic career.
Leisure will continue his football career as a member of the Panthers.
“I was looking at Ashland University a lot,” Leisure said. “(I looked at) Thomas More. I went on visits there. There were a bunch of people there. They weren’t really talking to me much. They talked to me, but I wasn’t their main priority.
“Then I went to Ohio Dominican,” Leisure said. “I worked out, did bench presses and stuff. It was more of a one-on-one feel with the coaches. I got to know them. They really liked what I could do there. They kept in touch with me the whole way through.
“I really liked the facilities,” Leisure said. “My friend Omar (Porter) went there last year, so, I’ll know someone there.”
What about the high school experience?
“The experience has been crazy,” Leisure said. “All four years of high school. I started as a freshman and all the way through. I’ve seen 5-5 teams and 7-3 teams. My junior year I was hurt and was out the rest of the season. I thought my college chances were over since I didn’t have any film.
“But, then, senior year, I came back strong,” Leisure said. “I’d say my favorite memory was Blanchester, the first game (of the season). Defensively, me and all of my brothers just dominated the whole game. They couldn’t do anything against us.”
The Blue Lions began the 2019 season with a 26-0 win over the Wildcats.
“The Blanchester coach told me I was the best defensive player he’d seen in high school,” Leisure said. “It was like I woke up. Like, I could really go play college football.
“My junior year, we had a good team, but our defense was not that strong,” Leisure said. “Then I went and broke my foot (in the first half of the game against Blanchester in 2018). It was bad.”
What about a course of study in college?
“I’m still deciding right now,” Leisure said. “I’m either going to go into nursing or exercise science to be a physical therapist.”
“I’d say my favorite teacher is Mr. (David) Penwell,” Leisure said. “He’s taught me a lot. I took all four of his business classes. Those are probably my favorite classes, too. I like business.”
“For sure, my mom,” Leisure said. “She’s my rock, everything. I love her so much. My step-dad, Aaron. He’s been there the whole ride.
“All my coaches and the players pushed me to be my best,” Leisure said.
“(College) is going to be a whole different environment,” Leisure said. “At Court House, I came in more athletic than everybody else. I started right away. I didn’t really have to fight for a position. Obviously, at the next level there are going to be better athletes. I’m just going to have to work hard, put on some extra muscle, some weight and work on technique.
“I’m not going to be the strongest or the fastest,” Leisure said. “So, I’m going to have to out-smart people.”
“Garitt has a tremendous upside with his side and his speed,” Washington head football coach Chuck Williamson said. “Ohio Dominican is looking forward to (having) him. I believe, in talking to the recruiter, that they’re going to use him as an inside linebacker. He’ll put on probably 15 to 20 pounds of muscle and play inside linebacker for them.”