Where Did Devin Leary Go to School? Exploring Leary’s Football Journey

Kentucky QB Devin Leary is hoping to get selected in the 2024 NFL Draft. Let's look back at his past and discover how he got to where he is today.

Kentucky QB Devin Leary is an NFL Draft hopeful who seeks to enter the league after five years of college.

With limited production, Leary will have his work cut out for him. Let’s take a look at Leary’s football career thus far.

Where Did Devin Leary’s Football Career Start?

Leary attended Timber Creek Regional High School in Gloucester Township, N.J.

As a high school quarterback, Leary was quite the prolific passer. During his junior year, Leary broke the state passing yards and touchdowns record with 3,688 and 48, respectively. He was the 2016 and 2017 New Jersey Gatorade Football Player of the Year.

A three-star recruit, Leary received 15 offers, all from Division I FBS programs. He ultimately chose to enroll at North Carolina State.

Revisiting Leary’s College Career

North Carolina State

Leary redshirted his freshman year in 2018, failing to play a single snap. His college career got started when he was a sophomore (redshirt freshman).

In 2019, Leary began the year in the backup role but wound up starting the last five games of the season. Leary did not play particularly well, completing fewer than 50% of his passes for 1,219 yards and eight touchdowns with five interceptions.

Leary’s junior (redshirt sophomore) year in 2020 was already mired by the pandemic. To make matters worse, he broke his leg four games into the season. It was unfortunate because Leary was playing much better, having already thrown as many touchdowns as he had his entire sophomore season.

In 2021, Leary’s senior (redshirt junior) year, he broke out. Leary completed 65.7% of his passes for 3,433 yards and 35 touchdowns with just five interceptions in 12 starts.

While Leary could have opted to enter the 2022 NFL Draft on the heels of his best season, he wanted to show NFL scouts more.

Returning for his redshirt senior year, Leary started six games before a pectoral injury ended his season. He threw for just 1,265 yards and 11 touchdowns with four interceptions before the injury.

Not wanting to end his college career that way, Leary decided to return for one more season. But he would not remain at North Carolina State, instead transferring to Kentucky.

Kentucky

Although Leary merely went from one Power Five conference to another, the SEC is a step up in competition compared to the ACC. Unfortunately, Leary’s decision did not work out as he had hoped.

MORE: Top QBs in the 2024 NFL Draft

In 13 games as a sixth-year senior, Leary completed just 56.3% of his passes for 2,746 yards, 25 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. By no means was he bad, but he certainly wasn’t as good as at his peak at North Carolina State.

With his college eligibility exhausted, Leary had no choice but to declare for the 2024 NFL Draft.

Leary’s Potential in the NFL

Sadly, it’s unlikely NFL fans even know the name Devin Leary. Pro Football Network draft analyst Ian Cummings explains.

“Leary grades out as an undrafted free agent QB prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft and should generate interest as a priority free agent (PFA) if he isn’t selected. Though Leary’s late-career tape wasn’t as strong as his work in 2021, there’s upside to be unearthed if an NFL team can get him back to form.

“At his peak, Leary was a surgical pocket passer with competent creation ability and above-average functional arm talent. But late in his career, compounded injuries and a lack of supporting stability may have taken a toll on his overall comfort.”

Cummings sees some potential in Leary but ultimately believes he would do well to merely earn a spot on an NFL roster.

“At Kentucky, Leary was less consistent operationally. While there were flashes of the above-average drive velocity that existed in 2021, more frequent mechanical fluctuations under pressure also put his non-elite arm talent under the spotlight,” he wrote.

“Leary isn’t a liability in any one area — but he also doesn’t stray too far from the mean in any physical or intangible category. He’s tough in the pocket but struggles to navigate at times. He can read DB leverage, but he’ll force ill-advised decisions, and his middling physical profile makes his margin for error that much slimmer.

KEEP READING: Ian Cummings’ Full Scouting Report of Devin Leary

“Nevertheless, as a PFA signee, Leary has appeal. He’s tough, experienced, and accurate when he’s on. He also has enough talent to take hold of a QB3 spot in an NFL rotation.

“If he can stay healthy and comfortable, and keep striving for more operational consistency, Leary could grow to be a solid backup, which is a very respectable ceiling.”

Highlights, Records, and More

Leary set some aforementioned records in high school but doesn’t have much in the way of collegiate individual accomplishments.

Leary’s most impressive performance came in 2021 when he had a three-game stretch with 300+ passing yards and four passing touchdowns. That same year, he had a six-game stretch where he didn’t throw a single interception.

Without any individual accolades and entering the NFL when he will be 25 years old before the end of September, Leary has a lot to overcome to make it at the next level.

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