PULLMAN, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Former All-American quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist Ryan Leaf, whose public fall from grace a decade ago remains a media fascination, is going to set the record straight. The one-time first-round NFL draft pick has signed a contract with Crimson Oak Publishing to write three books, the first one due out next fall.
Crimson Oak, which is based in the state of Washington, specializes in books with powerful messages of hope, possibility and determination. One of the three books Leaf will write will focus on his inspirational battle with and victory over prescription painkillers and the demons of self-doubt that haunted him since his once-promising pro career came undone at age 26. Another book will be a broader biography on the triumphs, trials and tribulations of a life lived much in the public eye, from his youth in Montana through his troubled time with the San Diego Chargers and beyond.
The first book in the series will be more specifically targeted. “It will cover four years, from the moment I decided to attend Washington State up through our Rose Bowl appearance in 1998,” Leaf says. “For Cougar fans, it will be an entertaining, behind-the-scenes journey through a fascinating time in the school’s football history. For sports fans generally, it will offer an unvarnished look at the world of college athletics, good and bad. The aim is not to glorify the sport or our very special 1997 WSU team, but to put a light on the powerful stories, colorful characters and some of the shenanigans behind one of our country’s most beloved weekend pastimes.” That book is targeted for an October 2011 release.
Leaf is no stranger to the written word. In September, he started writing a regular column for www.Cougfan.com, an independent Website devoted to Washington State athletics. And for the last several years he’s kept a journal. Leaf says the journal will serve as an underpinning for his books.
“The fact Ryan is going to put his story in print is no small development,” says Erik Johnson, CEO of Crimson Oak Publishing (www.crimsonoakpublishing.com). “When his promising NFL career came to a disappointing end after just four seasons, Ryan kept a low profile. In many ways, he put a shell around himself.”
And then his addiction to prescription painkillers, stemming from a wrist injury, thrust him back into the public eye.
“After completing treatment for the addiction, Ryan began talking very openly about how critical it is for people in the midst of that battle to ask for help. He has now been clean for two years, and has re-emerged from his self-imposed exile with a powerful story to share.”