Ex-Beaver Leonhardt named to All-Decade Team

041120.S.BP.LEONHARDT Brian Leonhardt BSU.jpg
Bemidji State's Brian Leonhardt gains a first down and is tackled by Concordia-St. Paul's Denzell Blackmon during a 2011 game at Chet Anderson Stadium. Leonhardt has been named to the All-Decade Team for the 2010s. (Pioneer file photo)

Former Bemidji State tight end Brian Leonhardt has been selected to the All-Decade Team for the 2010s. A total of 50 players and one coach were named to the team , which was determined by the staff of with input from coaches around the nation.

Leonhardt, a second-team selection on the All-Decade Team, suited up for four seasons with the Beavers from 2009-12. For his career, the Blaine native snagged 112 receptions for 1,431 yards and 15 touchdowns in 43 games.

He earned BSN All-America First Team honors as a senior, as well as Daktronics All-America Second Team Offense and All-America Honorable Mention honors as a junior. The tight end was also named All-NSIC First Team in his sophomore, junior and senior seasons, while being named an All-NSIC Honorable Mention as a freshman.

A Spring Lake Park High School graduate, Leonhardt went on to sign as an undrafted free agent with the Oakland Raiders in 2013. He made his NFL debut with Oakland in 2014 before making his final regular-season appearance in 2015 with the San Francisco 49ers.

In his rookie season, Leonhardt appeared in 12 games, including three starts, and finished with six receptions for 35 yards and one touchdown. His lone career touchdown came in a 38-14 Week 4 loss to the Miami Dolphins in London as he grabbed a 3-yard touchdown pass from Derek Carr. Leonhardt remains the only Beaver to ever score an NFL touchdown.


Leonhardt later played in four games with one reception of four yards for the 49ers in 2015. He also spent time in training camp with the Cleveland Browns, and as a practice squad player for the Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions and Arizona Cardinals before his career ended following the 2016 season.

Other NSIC players to earn selection to the All-Decade Team were Minnesota Duluth offensive lineman Garth Heikkinen, Minnesota State-Mankato wide receiver Shane Zylstra, Sioux Falls offensive lineman Trey Pipkens and Wayne State punter Randy Weich.

To be eligible for selection, players must have played during any season from 2010-19, completed their eligibility before the 2020 season and been named a All-American during the decade.

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Oakland Raiders tight end Brian Leonhardt attempts to catch a pass against the Detroit Lions during the 2014 preseason at Coliseum. Leonhardt, a former Bemidji State All-American, has been named to the All-Decade Team for the 2010s. Kirby Lee | USA Today Sports

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