QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -- There were plenty of established names up and down the Quincy University football roster heading into this season but it's two that weren't as hyped in the preseason that are making a name for themselves.
On the defensive side of the ball, Carrollton's Cody Leonard has filled the stat sheet in his first season as a starting linebacker.
The sophomore is leading the Hawks with 15 tackles while adding a sack and an interception.
"It's been awesome, especially coming in the first game and going to Drake and having a lot of tackles, and playing well with the defense," Leonard indicated.
"It's nice to be thrown in there and be able to (play) a big role on the team."
According to Hawks head coach Tom Pajic, "His athleticism, his IQ, his ability to make big hits and big plays, (and) his speed, all those things are a plus. He's really ignited our defense."
The offense has received a boost from redshirt freshman running back Jaylan James who's carried the ball 66 times for 285 yards and five touchdowns.
The emergence of James is significant considering veteran back Chris Harris is out with an injury.
"(In the) spring time we were pretty confident and we felt like we could do pretty much anything we needed to do. I'm just doing the best of my abilities," James said.
"The team pretty much helps me out, I put the team on my back, and we just go from there."
Pajic added: "Jaylan's done a great job. (He has) a high football IQ (and) really understands what we're trying to do offensively, a very patient runner, and obviously at 252 lbs. he brings the thunder."
The Hawks are 2-0 for the first time in 18 seasons and open conference play at Lincoln on Saturday.