November 20, 2013

Rochester Re-Signs Defenseman McLeod

from Press Release

(November 20, 2013)... Defenseman Cody McLeod re-signed a one-year deal with the back-to-back World Champion Rochester Knighthawks. McLeod, who spent his rookie season on the practice squad, is ready to take the next step in his professional lacrosse career.

"The same goal applies – a different perspective and look from what I'm bringing and what I want to accomplish this year – but the main goal remains the same, and that's to get the third straight championship in a row," McLeod said.

McLeod has changed his approach to the game in his second season in the National Lacrosse League. No longer is he satisfied with his role on the practice squad. Instead, he is ready to crack the starting lineup.

"Every practice he got better," Rochester Head Coach Mike Hasen said. "That's all we can ask of him. His opportunity will come, and we're pretty confident he is getting prepared for it the best he possibly can. We'll see when that opportunity comes."

"He's a good, young player. With the players we have returning, it will be tough for him to make the lineup, but the tools are there," said Assistant Coach Jason Johnson.

McLeod also received praise from Knighthawks Team Captain and All-World defenseman Sid Smith.

"Cody is a young hardworking defenseman," said Smith. "He improves every time I see him play."

The last player taken in the annual NFL Draft is given the infamous nickname "Mr. Irrelevant." McLeod, the 56th and final pick of the 2012 NLL Entry Draft, has prepared himself this offseason to become relevant during Rochester's run to a third consecutive league title.

"I think I'm ready," he said. "I had a great offseason. I worked really hard. I lost a lot of weight and gained a lot of muscle.

"I made it my job this offseason to get bigger, faster, stronger. I did a lot of work studying the game so I could get smarter. I worked on my foot speed and my agility. I really took it upon myself to get better in every aspect."

McLeod also sharpened his mental game, as he found a mentor in fellow Orangeville, Ontario native and seven-year NLL veteran Mike Kirk. Both graduates of the prestigious Orangeville Junior "A" lacrosse program, the two bonded during commutes to games and practices.

"Cody knew his role as a young guy in the NLL. He practiced hard every week to get better, but also help make the team better," said Kirk, who serves as one of the Knighthawks' assistant captains. "I had the honor of traveling with him each week and it was a lot of fun getting to know him. Coming from the same hometown, it was great to try and show a young guy the ropes in the NLL."

ILIndoor.com recognized McLeod for some of his off-the-field talents. The website ranked him as the sixth-best Twitter personality among NLL players. According to the lacrosse website, it is McLeod's "humor, keen observation and truth" that makes him a social media must-follow.

"I got a text from (Minnesota transition player) Andrew Suitor and I had no idea what he was talking about until I got the tweet. I didn't even think they knew who I was, so it was kind of a big surprise," McLeod said. "It was kind of cool at the same time. I have a unique humor I guess you can say. Maybe they found it funny."

Fans can follow McLeod in person at Knighthawks Training Camp, which will take place at the brand new, state-of-the-art Unity Health System Total Sports Experience location in East Rochester. The first practice will be held on Saturday, November 23rd from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.


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