Alex Leatherwood's actions have always spoken louder than his words
By Levi Edwards | Digital Team Reporter
Alex Leatherwood is a massive human being.
That was my initial thought when I met the Raiders' 2021 first-round pick. The 6-foot-5, 312-pounder had a sense of intimidation about him just by looking at him.
I reached up to shake the right tackle's hand to introduce myself. My interview with him was a few minutes before he would speak with the media during Training Camp, and it was the first time he would publicly speak since being drafted from the University of Alabama four months prior.
My right hand literally shrunk inside of his, those large hands beneficial to him becoming an elite blocker and Outland Trophy winner. Our exchange of words was pretty basic.
"Hi, I'm Levi Edwards, the team reporter. Nice to meet you man."
"Hey, you too, sir," he replied in a grizzled voice you wouldn't believe is only 22 years old.
Hearing Alex Leatherwood refer to me as "sir" was pretty humorous and actually refreshing to me — Leatherwood is only two years younger than me, and I'm still having a difficult time getting accustomed to people addressing me as "sir" while I'm still in my early 20s.
But hearing him say "sir" was another positive reminder of the classic southern hospitality that Leatherwood and I both grew up around. Yes ma'am, yes sir, no ma'am, no sir – my two parents with Alabama roots raised me to always address people in that fashion.
So with Leatherwood making the move from Pensacola, Florida, – where he was born and raised – I was curious about the transition from the southeast to the West Coast, something I was familiar with as well. And while still adjusting to life in the desert, that Florida Panhandle city he hails from has played a huge role in the young man he's become.
"When you step on the field in a Raiders uniform, do you feel you're not only representing yourself, but your family and the Pensacola community?" I asked.
"One thousand percent," he answered without the slightest of hesitation. "I feel like I represent my city. I got them on my back like I give them hope. I love my city, so I definitely represent them. Growing up in Pensacola – I don't think I could compare it to anywhere else, but I know I loved it growing up there. We had the beach, had a lot of great friends, had a lot of things to do in the city, so it was cool."