Meet Radford commit Leo Simpson

Luke DeZee

More stories from Luke DeZee


Photo Courtesy of Leo Simpson

Leo Simpson is a senior on the WJ baseball team. He committed to Radford this August where he plans to play for the next four years.

Leo Simpson has been a baseball fanatic practically his whole life. From Kidball in first grade to helping lead WJ to the best record in school history going 17-2 in the regular season. After many years of hard work, Simpson finally committed to play Division I baseball at Radford University; however, the journey to get to this point was a long and hard one with progress not always being linear. 

Starting in the 9th grade Simpson realized that he could potentially go to college or even eventually have a career in baseball. It was around this time that his brother Max who currently plays baseball at Towson started really pushing him to be the best player he can be. As a result of this influence from his brother, Simpson pushed himself insanely hard and is still working as hard as ever in hopes to make it professionally one day. This hard work is especially prevalent in the weightroom.

”When you see Simpson in the gym, you can just tell he’s the hardest worker in the room,” junior Dylan Notley said.

Simpson has been on the varsity baseball team since his freshman year and despite losing in the playoffs the past two seasons, he is confident in a potential state championship for the Cats next season. Along with being a four year varsity player, Simpson was the sole junior captain last season. 

“Simpson is not only a great player but also a great leader on and off the field,” senior teammate Nico Carbone said. The college recruiting journey was a long and hard one for Simpson as a combination of injuries have plagued him throughout his career. Going into the summer before junior year Simpson was expecting to commit to the school of his choice as he was throwing up to 92mph during his sophomore season. However this is when everything went downhill as an elbow injury kept him out for almost nine months and recruiting came to a standstill. 

“It was a weird feeling definitely, I went from having a phone call with a different coach almost every day to just a few staying in contact. At some points it felt like I was never going to be able to play in college,I almost needed Tommy John surgery which would have practically ruined my career and overall it was the worst experience I have ever had,” Simpson said.

It was just recently that Simpson started to find his groove. Even after the elbow injury was gone, he still struggled with getting back into the game after so long. Not playing for nine months took a big toll on his playing ability. However, in the summer Simpson finally hit a new velocity personal record at 93.6 and showed the past is behind him. 

“When [the] high school season came around, I was really struggling to find my stuff and I was also dealing with a finger injury that was also affecting my play. However I finally became fully healthy in mid summer and I am hoping to get up to the mid 90s by next season,” Simpson said.

Despite his injuries and struggles, Simpson was still in contact with many different coaches and ultimately chose Radford as the place where he wants to pursue his baseball career.

”Radford was just the place that felt right, the campus, facilities, and most importantly coaches made me feel at home, it’s nice that such a long process is finally over and I ended up at a school I genuinely like,” Simpson said.