Leunen Makes It Official

It didn't have the glitz of his verbal commitment, but Maarty Leunen, the versatile 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward from Redmond, Ore., was still happy with how is Wednesday went. Right before he headed off to classes at Redmond High, he signed on the dotted line on his letter-of-intent with the University of Oregon.
"Everything is official," said Leunen. "I did it this morning right before I went to school. It feels good and it's a huge relief."
When Leunen made his verbal commitment to Oregon, he held a press conference where more than 100 friends, family members, and representatives from the local media - including live television - were all in attendance. There wasn't much glamour this time around with the actual signing, but it's the way that Leunen wanted it to be.
"One of the girls (basketball players) at my school made a commitment to Weber State," said Leunen. "So she had a little press conference at her signing. I didn't want to take anything away from that."
In the month in-between his verbal commitment and his signing, Leunen has kept in close contact with the Oregon staff and Coach Ernie Kent in particular. He even made an unofficial visit to campus a few weeks ago to catch a football game and hang out with fellow Class of 2004 recruit Bryce Taylor.
"I heard that he was making the trip up so I went there too," said Leunen. "We hung out and went to the Stanford game. It was a lot of fun."
There's no question that the Ducks are excited about Leunen coming aboard.
"Maarty was an important get because we take pride in getting the top talent in the state to commit to Oregon and Maarty has been the best in the state for the last two years," said Kent in a press release issued by the school. "We have established that tradition with Freddie Jones, Luke Jackson and Brandon Lincoln, and will now continue it through Maarty Leunen."
But before Leunen steps foot on campus, he's got some work to do his senior season for Redmond, who won the 4A state championship last season. And so far, pre-season practice has given him a glimpse what things will be like.
"It's been going pretty hard - Coach is really working us hard this year," said Leunen. "But it's good, we really need it. We should do pretty well - we're going to fight and defend our championship." ranks Leunen No. 95 on the Rivals150 list and the 28th best power forward in the class of 2004.
Jed Tai is a senior writer with