Montana native and former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf to speak in Great Falls

Posted at 4:32 PM, Apr 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-03 18:51:04-04

GREAT FALLS – A former C.M. Russell High School and NFL quarterback will speak in Great Falls soon.

Ryan Leaf, a standout football player for CMR and Washington State, became the only Montanan ever selected in the first round of the NFL Draft when he was selected second overall by the San Diego Chargers in 1998, behind only future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning.

But his time in the NFL was marred by inconsistent performances and locker room outbursts, and he was out of the league less than four years later.

After his football career ended, Leaf went through well-documented legal struggles. In 2012 Leaf pleaded guilty to felony burglary and drug possession charges in Great Falls and spent the next 32 months in prison.

Leaf left prison in 2014 and turned his life around.

He’s now an ambassador for a recovery community in California and speaks internationally about mental health and substance abuse issues.

Early next month, Leaf’s journey will lead him back to his hometown with his first public engagement in Great Falls in years.

Leaf will speak in the CMR auditorium on May 2 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited.