Academic deficiencies have cost junior cornerback and return man Richard Leonard the 2013 season.
FIU head coach Ron Turner said after Tuesday's practice that Leonard "would not be eligible all year." Sources close to FIU have been telling The Herald for months that Leonard could miss at least the first four games and Turner did say last week that Leonard and senior wide receiver Glenn Coleman had academic issues to be cleared up before they could play.
Turner said Monday sophomore wide receiver DeAndre Jasper and Coleman both could be back this week with Jasper being the greater possibility.
A team already the youngest in the nation loses a two-year starter at cornerback, their best coverage corner, one of their fastest players and their most explosive kick and punt returner. Leonard had a touchdown on each and averaged 29.5 yards per kickoff return in 2012.
In Leonard's place, his cousin, sophomore Jeremiah McKinnon, started at cornerback Saturday against Maryland. Junior college transfer Randy Harvey might take that role Friday against Central Florida.
The betting line on Friday's game began with FIU a 23-point underdog around 12:30 p.m. Monday. It's at 25 1/2 as of 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.