The highest-paid inside linebacker in NFL history is an HBCU alum.

Former South Carolina State defensive menace Darius Leonard on Sunday signed a reported five-year, $99.25 million extension with the Indianapolis Colts.

The deal makes Leonard the highest-paid inside linebacker in the NFL, includes $52.5 million in guaranteed money and is scheduled to pay Leonard $20 million per year over the first three years over the contract.

Also read: Tarik Cohen and Darius Leonard named 2018 Black College Football Pro Players of the Year

Leonard has been named an All-Pro in each of his three seasons in the league, including two first-team selections in 2018 and 2020. The former second-round pick out of South Carolina State in 2018  has averaged 9.9 tackles per game and led the NFL in tackles his rookie season that propelled him to NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.

During his time at South Carolina State, Leonard was twice named MEAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2016 and 2017.


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