Duke QB Riley Leonard denied homework extension after Clemson upset

ByAnthony Gharib ESPN logo
Wednesday, September 6, 2023
Duke fans pumped as Clemson visits Blue Devils
Duke fans tailgated and got pumped up before the Blue Devils' first home tilt vs. Clemson in 11 years.

DURHAM, N.C. -- After leading the then-unranked Duke Blue Devils to a 28-7 upset win over the then-ranked No. 9 Clemson Tigers on Monday night, quarterback Riley Leonard had one thing on his mind: asking for a homework extension.

Leonard threw for 175 yards, paired with 98 yards and one touchdown on the ground. His 44-yard touchdown run on the first drive of the second half put No. 21 Duke in front for good.

Fans flooded the field from the stands to celebrate the program's first top-10 college football win since 1989. Leonard served as the star, leading the Blue Devils in rushing yards.

But after the junior quarterback reflected on his performance, he turned his attention to an assignment due that night. Leonard had a simple message to his professor that went viral: "Please let me turn in my homework late because it's due tonight," he said.

After offering his congratulations, Donald Taylor, Leonard's professor, pointed out that "Wesley Williams and the other linemen" planned ahead and did the assignment ahead of time. Taylor stuck to his deadline.

"So why didn't the quarterback [prepare ahead]?"Taylor said. "So no way, man. No extension."

Leonard, majoring in public policy, hasn't responded to the video yet.

A missed deadline doesn't seem to be a regular occurrence for Leonard -- he was an Academic All-ACC and CSC Academic All-District honoree last school year.

Last season, Leonard threw for 2,967 yards and 20 touchdowns while starting 13 games, all career highs. Duke defeated UCF in the Military Bowl for its first bowl win since 2018.

NOTE: Video is from a previous report.

The Blue Devils next face Lafayette on Saturday.

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