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Leazier's work suits ETSU, Ohio State, Shepherd teams in effort to dress for success

January 02, 2008|By LARRY YANOS

He hasn't scored a touchdown or kicked a field goal on a college field, but Jereme Leazier of Clear Spring has played an integral role for three different football programs.

Over the past five years, the 22-year-old Leazier has served as a student equipment manager for East Tennessee State University, Ohio State University and Shepherd University.

"I've been a student at all three universities and, when not attending classes, I have spent much of my time serving as a student equipment manager," Leazier said. "As a full-time student, I had to work my classes around practices."

The former Williamsport High School football player was at ETSU until it ended its football program in the fall of 2003. He then transferred to Ohio State in July 2004, where he stayed until this fall.

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"Ohio State was really special. I've always been a fan, my grandparents have season tickets for football, and I attended many games when I was growing up." Leazier said. "A home game in Columbus, especially a Big Ten game, is something else. It's a very interesting, historic program and I had a great experience working with the athletic programs."

As much as Leazier loved Ohio State, the high tuition forced him to find another college.

"I transferred to Shepherd this fall, and began classes there," Leazier said. "I asked Coach (Monte) Cater if he needed some help and the answer was 'yes.' I started as a volunteer and then began to receive a salary."

Needless to say, the transition from a Division I power like Ohio State to a Division II school like Shepherd was mind-boggling.

"I went from a million dollar operation to a Division II school trying to do the best it could," Leazier said. "At Ohio State, they had two helmets and two sets of shoulder pads - one for practices and one for games. At Shepherd, they wore the same helmets for practices and games. That's just one example.

"The players at Shepherd don't have attitudes like the ones at Ohio State," Leazier said.

Fitting in academics and equipment manager duties at the three schools has proven challenging for Leazier - particularly while at Ohio State.

"We had seven student equipment managers and we would assist in 30 different varsity sports," Leazier said. "I was with the football team the entire season, made two road trips and worked all home games each year."

Leazier's duties for a 1 p.m. football game started at 7 a.m. and lasted until early evening. He and his co-workers had various duties on game day, including checking headsets for coaches and helmets, cleats and gloves for players.

"I had a blast at Ohio State," Leazier said. "I can remember coming into the locker room after the game, especially when the opponent was Michigan, and seeing not only the stars of the day but former great Ohio State players. It was awesome."

Leazier said he would like to get a job with the government or the peace corps.

"If not, I would consider an offer with another university, a professional football team or a pro baseball team," Leazier said.

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