1  Leon Best
Leon Best


Kinston, N.C.

High School:
North Lenoir

Height / Weight:
6-0 / 205

Defensive Back


A genuine walk-on success story who will open his senior year with an opportunity to earn full-time starter's status at strong safety ... Earned the top nod at the close of spring practice after making the move over from the cornerback position prior to the start of drills ... Actually joined the ECU program originally as a safety but developed into a part-time starter at the corner slot as a junior ... An unbridled work ethic in the weight room, film sessions and on the field have been cited as reasons for rapid development ... Logged a total of six stops and two pass breakups during pair of spring scrimmages before tallying two and a knockdown in one half of play during the weather-shortened Purple-Gold Game (4/12).

2007: Started six of 13 games played (1/CB, 5/SS) ... Ninth on the team with 41 stops (21 solo, 20 assists) ... Picked off passes in back-to-back games (Houston/25 yards and UCF/22 yards) ... Ranked second on unit with two interceptions ... Had three pass breakups, ranking fourth on squad ... Set a new career-high with eight tackles against WVU (9/22) ... Last start was against N.C. State (eighth of career) ... vs. Va. Tech (9/1): Recorded four total tackles (two solo, two assists) ... vs. UNC (9/8): Finished the game with three total tackles (two solo, assist) ... vs. USM (9/15): Experienced extensive action as a reserve in the secondary ... Credited with one tackle on the night (solo) ... vs. WVU (9/22): Recorded a career-high eight total tackles (four solo, four assists) ... vs. Houston (9/29): Recorded five total tackles (all assists) ... Picked off second career pass in the second quarter returning it 25 yards setting up ECU's second TD of the game ... vs. UCF (10/6): Picked off third career pass in the third quarter, returning it 22 yards ... Tallied three total stops (two solo, assist) ... Also credited with one forced fumble, the first of his career ... vs. UTEP (10/13): Recorded two total tackles (both solo) in the secondary ... vs. N.C. State (10/20): Tallied four tackles (solo, three assists) ... vs. UAB (10/27): Experienced action in a reserve role in the secondary ... Credited with two stops (solo, assist) ... Also had one pass breakup ... vs. Memphis (11/3): Recorded two tackles (both solo) ... Credited with one TFL (-1 yard) ... Also had one pass breakup ... vs. Marshall (11/10): Credited with two total stops (solo, assist) coming in a reserve role ... vs. Tulane (11/24): Posted four tackles (two solo, two assists) ... Also credited with third pass breakup of the season ... vs. Boise State (12/23): Recorded one tackle (solo) in a reserve role.

2006: Started two-of-13 games played (SMU and Southern Miss) ... Registered 20 total tackles (14 solo and 6 assisted) with one interception and one pass break-up (N.C. State) ... Returned only pick 37 yards vs. Memphis in Conference USA opener at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium ... Also played a vital role on special teams unit, standing fifth with five stops ... In fact, earned special teams "Crunch Award" for biggest hit ... vs. Navy (9/2): Experienced limited action, primarily on ECU's kickoff and kickoff return teams ... vs. UAB (9/9): Played on special teams but was not credited with a tackle ... vs. Memphis (9/16): Experienced first game action in Pirate secondary in addition to special teams duties ... Posted one stop (assist) ... Netted first career interception ... vs. WVU (9/23): One tackle as member of special teams unit ... vs. UVA (10/7): Did not record special teams statistics ... vs. Tulsa (10/14): Played significantly in the secondary, but did not record any statistics ... vs. SMU (10/21): Made first collegiate start at cornerback and tallied a then career-best seven tackles (five solo) ... vs. USM (10/28): Made second consecutive start (cornerback) and produced three stops, all solo ... vs. UCF (11/4): Returned back to exclusive play on special teams but did not record any stops ... vs. Marshall (11/11): Booked three solo tackles as a member of the special teams and secondary, all in the fourth quarter ... vs. Rice (11/18): One tackle in dual role ... vs. N.C. State (11/25): Logged pair of stops (one in secondary, one on special teams) during ECU's 21-16 win at Carter-Finley Stadium ... vs. USF (12/23): Credited with two tackles (one solo) during Papajohns.com Bowl ... Both stops came in the first half as part of ECU's punt coverage unit.

2005: Played in nine games off the bench, providing depth in the secondary and as member of the special teams, to earn first varsity letter ... Did not play in first two games against Duke and Wake Forest, but experienced action in the remaining contests against West Virginia, Southern Miss, Rice, SMU, Memphis, UCF, Tulsa, Marshall and UAB ... Credited with only tackle of season against Rice - a solo stop at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium during ECU's 41-28 victory.

2004: Officially joined the ECU program as a walk-on during preseason camp ... Redshirted and placed on scout team by former Pirate coach John Thompson.

High School: A three-year all-conference standout at North Lenoir High School ... Selected as the Hawks' team captain and MVP as a senior ... Also voted team's best athlete in 2003 ... Earned additional letters as a basketball player ... A strong performer in the classroom with selection to NLHS's Honor Roll and the prestigious Who's Who Among American High School Students list.

Personal: Full name is Herman Leon Best ... Born April 19, 1986 at Kinston, N.C. ... A recreation and park management major ... Plays the piano in his spare time.