Darius Leonard’s Kindergarten Love Story with His Wife Is Still Intact and Well
Sometimes when people meet "the one," they feel like they've known that person their entire life. For Darius Leonard, that's literally the case.
The Indianapolis Colts star first met his wife, Kayla Leonard, when they were in kindergarten. They have been a part of each other's lives ever since.
He always had a thing for her, but only later in life did he realize he loved her.
Darius Leonard's Wife Kayla Leonard Rejected His First Proposal
Darius was 5 or 6 years old when he first met Kayla.
They were actually around each other all the time. Darius and Kayla were beside each other in pictures and even signed their names beside each other on their kindergarten t-shirts.
The town they grew up in — Lake View, South Carolina — was a small town. So, even though he practically knew everyone in town, there was something about Kayla he found enticing.
Darius Leonard with his wife, Kayla Leonard, whom he has known since kindergarten. (Photo: Kayla Leonard/Instagram)
So, in sixth grade, he asked Kayla out. But for little Darius, that was also when he got his first rejection.
"She turned me down at first. I asked her out in the sixth grade and she told me, 'No,'" Darius recalled (via Colts).
Kayla, too, realized she liked him, although she took five years to realize it. Darius jokingly said that Kayla "came back begging" in the 11th grade.
She asked him to go with her to a party that year, and they hung out all night. After that, their hang-out sessions became more frequent, and their love story took off.
Darius Leonard and Wife's Love for Sports Kept Them Together
Darius and Kayla were athletes right from the beginning. She was into softball, basketball, and volleyball.
"I definitely loved that - an athlete who was just as good in their sport as I was in mine," he said of his wife, who challenged him in every way.
Every day, they would trash talk to one another, work out together, and every season, they set out to achieve better stats than the other. He loved spending time with her in high school.
He eventually realized he loved her. This was even before they started college.
The couple practically went to the same university. Darius chose South Carolina State University to play football; Kayla chose Claflin University for softball. The only thing that separated the two colleges was a fence.
They hung out all the time in college, and his love grew deeper. By senior year, he was an NFL contender, and that could mean he would have to leave Kayla behind.
Darius would not let that happen.
On his senior day, a day when he was the main attraction at the university, he called her to the middle of the football field and popped the question. The day was November 11, 2017.
"I got nervous. I forget everything I was going to say," The NFL linebacker recalled, but got through the proposal somehow. "Will you marry me?" he asked Kayla. She said yes.
As his NFL days began, so increased the distance. They stuck together despite the distance and got married right after the 2018 NFL Draft and before his season with the Indianapolis Colts began.
"I wanted her to come up with me. I wanted it to be official that she was my wife," he said of their wedding, which took place on June 29, 2019, in their hometown.
However, that is only the day of their wedding ceremony. The date they got officially married was May 9, 2018.
They now lead a family of four with two young daughters.