3/31/2007 10:41:31 PMUniversité Laval defensive back Leaf Bondoot has received permission to transfer, most likely to an American university, the school announced Saturday.
Laval spokesman Alain Vinzioto said Bondoot wishes to seek more exposure in the U.S., as well as pursue an emphasis on Latin American studies.
"It is our policy not to restrict student-athletes who do not wish to remain a member of our community," Vinzioto said during a phone interview. "We released Leaf with best wishes for his future pursuits, whatever they may be."
Bondoot's father, Gunther, said no decision has been made on a future school, but the family has received interest from Arizona State University.
"We are looking for a school that sends football players to the NFL, and where Leaf can pursue his academic dreams," Gunther said. "Right now, Arizona State appears the very best option."
The 19-year-old Bondoot, a 6'3", 205-lbs. cornerback, played in the final four games as a freshman for the Rouge last season, collecting three interceptions and 10 tackles. He grabbed national attention two years ago by running a 10.38 100 meters -- in bare feet -- in a national outdoor preparatory meet, just three days shy of his 17th birthday.
Laval had high hopes for Bondoot, despite his only playing one year of organized football. Coaches pointed to his family history of athletic accomplishment. Gunther, now a medical records clerk in Montreal, was an alternate member of the 1984 500m Iceland speed skating team. His mother, Azami, has two older brothers who competed in last month's Nihon Sumo Kyokai Grand Sumo Tournament.
Laval head coach Glen Constatin had no comment about Bondoot's decision to transfer. The coach raved about Bondoot's potential and ability early last season.
"You cannot teach natural ability," he said. "He's like a ballet dancer in the body of a warrior."