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Friday, November 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Pacific NW

Former NFL player Ryan Leaf delivers speech in hometown

Former WSU quarterback Ryan Leaf chats with a San Diego State coach before the start of a college football game between WSU and San Jose State on Saturday, September 8, 2018, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Former WSU quarterback Ryan Leaf chats with a San Diego State coach before the start of a college football game between WSU and San Jose State on Saturday, September 8, 2018, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Associated Press

GREAT FALLS, Mont. – Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf has returned to his Montana hometown to deliver a speech about dealing with mental health and substance abuse.

The Great Falls Tribune reports that Leaf appeared Thursday at C.M. Russell High School in Great Falls for the first time in more than 20 years.

In a speech titled, “Lying to Myself,” Leaf discussed his football career as a star at Washington State University, Heisman Trophy finalist and second-overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers.

Leaf says four years later he was out of professional football and became addicted to prescription pills, which led to burglary and drug charges and a prison sentence.

Leaf is now a program ambassador for Transcend, an addiction treatment center in Los Angeles.

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