Former WSU Quarterback Ryan Leaf speaks at Southridge High Schoo - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Former WSU Quarterback Ryan Leaf speaks at Southridge High School

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KENNEWICK,WA - Former WSU quarterback Ryan Leaf, selected second overall in the 1998 NFL draft, gave a speech at Southridge High School on Thursday morning. Leaf was sentenced to prison in 2012 after breaking into a house in Great Falls, Montana, and stealing prescription painkillers. He served 32 months, during which time he was able to get sober and found a new found passion for helping people. "It actually was the perfect example of being in a terrible place and circumstance and making the choice to do something positive and healthy with their lifestyle," said Leaf. 


Since he got out of prison, Leaf has been traveling from college to college across the United States, speaking with athletes about his experiences. On Thursday night he was scheduled to speak at his alma mater Washington State University, 140 miles from Kennewick. A friendship that dated back to his childhood with Southridge Athletic Director Tim Wood brought Leaf to the Tri-Cities on Thursday morning. 

"Ryan and I have known each other for most of our lives," said Wood. "In fact I can't even remember because my mom and his mother were college roommates in nursing school. So we were at lunch, with my wife and my kids and he goes you know I can come speak,' because with the radio gig and the Pa-12 gig, he's now gonna be up in Pullman a bit more."

"The fact that I can be watching football with my son," said Leaf, "I never thought I'd be able to utter those words. I thought I was just on a path to death."

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