Name: Maurice Lamar Leggett
Born: October 2, 1986 in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. Located at the confluence of the Monongahela and Youghiogheny Rivers, McKeesport is 12 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. The settlement was founded there in 1795. In the late 1800s, National Tube Company opened there and McKeesport became the fastest growing town in the country with families arriving from Italy, Germany, Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary to work in the mill. National Tube eventually became part of U.S. Steel. Right now, just 20,000 people live in McKeesport, which has struggled for more than 25 years after the closing of the steel works and manufacturing plants in the city.
Family: Father Vance Allen and mother Kelly Hardy. His Dad has been in and out of his life. He split time with his grandmother Lois Leggett in McKeesport and his mother in Georgia before moving south full-time when he was in the sixth grade. His mother used to tutor Dan Marino when both of them were going to school at the University of Pittsburgh. His step-father Alex Hardy has been part of his life for several years now.
Attended: Mt. Zion High School in Jonesboro, Georgia, which is a suburb of Atlanta and Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia.
Why Valdosta State? “One of my coaches in my senior year of high school came from Valdosta State and told me how good the program was. I realized I wasn’t going to be able to play at the Division 1 level because my grades weren’t good enough. So I picked Valdosta and won two championships there.”
What was the toughest class you had at Valdosta? “Trigonometry and piano. Trig was tough and piano was only once a week, but you had to fit in time every day to practice and that was hard with the other classes and practice. Music was my minor. ”
Growing up as a kid, what was your favorite team? “It was the Steelers, when they had Barry Foster and Dwight Stone, who was a good friend of my aunt. When Curtis Martin hit the NFL, I followed him. He’s a great friend of the family.”
What’s your ride? A 2002 Land Rover Discovery.
What was your first car? “A ‘91 Sierra Cutlass with around 110,000 miles on when I bought it for $1,000. I got the car going into my senior year of college. I didn’t have a vehicle before then and I pride myself on doing things on my own, so I didn’t have the money saved until then to get a car. That’s all I needed, something to get me from point A to point B.”
What was your first job? “It was at a cafeteria on campus called the Palms. I worked there and washed pots and pans.”
What’s your favorite movie? “The Ninja Turtle movies, one, two and three. Growing up, I loved the Ninja Turtles; and I was a Ninja Turtle almost every year for Halloween.”
Who is your hero? “My grandfather Eric Leggett. He speaks what’s on his mind and he goes out of his way to take care of his whole family, no matter the cost, right or wrong, he makes sure the family is OK. He’s back in McKeesport.
What’s your favorite meal? “Macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, my Grandmother’s ham and chitlins, just about anything else my grandmother wants to cook.”
On a road trip, what’s always in the car with you? “If I have a couple Powerades and sunflower seeds that will get me the whole way, non-stop.”