Duke QB Riley Leonard’s Mom Texts Him: ‘You Suck’ Before Every Game

Riley Leonard

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Duke’s quarterback, Riley Leonard, has a unique pre-game ritual that has both baffled and intrigued football fans.

Before every game, Leonard receives a text message from his own mother, telling him, “You suck.”

In addition to the text, he wears a wristband with the same message, all in an effort to keep his ego in check.

During a recent game between Duke and Clemson, ESPN’s broadcast highlighted this unusual tradition, sparking mixed reactions from fans and viewers alike. Many were left wondering why Leonard would subject himself to such criticism, especially from his own mother.

In a previous interview with Max Chadwick of Pro Football Focus, Leonard shed some light on the origins of this peculiar practice. He explained, “Growing up in a smaller community, I was a really good athlete, and everyone wanted to give me praise all the time. I was so sick of it. I needed someone to bash me, give me some criticism and wake me up. My mom raised her hand and was like, ‘Dude, I’ll do it before every game.'”

Despite the harsh words in the text, Leonard made it clear that his mother remains “the sweetest person ever.” He views the message as a necessary reminder to “bring him back down to reality” and maintain the humility required to succeed in the competitive world of college football.

Leonard played well in the Clemson game, combining for 273 total yards and scoring a great long touchdown run in a 28-7 upset win.