Leo Chenel was born on October 26, 2000, in Grantsburg, Wisconsin, where he grew up and attended high school. His parents are David and Brenda Chenal, and his brother John is a fullback for the Wisconsin Badgers. His family has 16 children in it, and he was the 12th oldest.
At Grantsburg High School, he played both running back and linebacker. As a senior, he rushed for 2,038 yards and 42 touchdowns, with 226 receiving yards and three touchdowns. On defense, he had 120 tackles, with seven for a loss. He was named both the small-school Offensive and Defensive player of the year by the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association, and also was the State’s Gatorade Football Player of the year.
He was a three-star recruit coming out of high school and chose to attend Wisconsin. He played in 11 games as a freshman with 20 tackles, two for a loss, and one sack. As a sophomore, he was named honorable mention All-Big Ten Conference. As a junior, he was named the Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the year and first team All-Big Ten.
He chose to enter the draft after his junior year and was selected by the Chiefs in the third round of the 2022 draft.[Ed. This is the penultimate edition of this series, so a big shout-out to Hoosier for not sinking to the level of some other contributors. I only have one more Tailgate Thursday left, as well, so I’m not sure how I’m supposed to fill the gaps. Whining over, carry on.]