Quick Bit: Leonard wants to go by his middle name Shaquille during the 2022 NFL season and beyond.

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Darius Leonard was drafted into the NFL in 2018 and spent the first four years of his career going by his first name.

But as the 2022 NFL season arrives, he is changing things up.

Leonard told reporters at the beginning of Colts training camp that he preferred to be called Shaquille Leonard moving forward.

Why? As Nate Atkins of The Indy Star reports, Leonard’s middle name is Shaquille, and that’s what his family has referred to him as since he was young.

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So, if going by Shaquille was a long-term thing for Leonard, why didn’t he make his preference known until his fifth year in the league?

“He never wanted to say anything about it until just now,” Atkins wrote on Twitter.

Leonard now will become one of the many NFL players that are known primarily by their middle names. Below are some of the most notable examples:

Preferred name
Full name
Chris Godwin
Rod Christopher Godwin
Dak Prescott
Rayne Dakota Prescott
Deshaun Watson
Derrick Deshaun Watson
Drew Lock
Paul Andrew Lock
Mecole Hardman
Carey Mecole Hardman
Raheem Mostert
Dominique Raheem Mostert
Matthew Stafford
John Matthew Stafford

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Regardless of what name Leonard goes by, he will continue to be one of the most important players on the Colts’ defense. He has been named an All-Pro in three of his four seasons to date and has averaged 158 tackles, four sacks, five force fumbles, three interceptions and nine pass defenses per 17 games played during his career.

So, the Colts won’t care if he goes by Darius, Shaquille, Shaq or his nickname Maniac; they will just want to get him back on the field as soon as possible. He began training camp on the PUP list as he recovers from offseason back surgery.

Originally found on Sporting News Read More

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