As athletes, Kevin and Leah hung in the same circles. They quickly formed a friendship, and by the summer before Kevin’s senior season, the two were dating. She remembers asking him one day about his football career and whether he hoped to play beyond college.
Kevin’s facial expression answered for him.
“It was almost a silly question, like, ‘Of course I want to. I don’t know if I’ll get to. That’s really hard to be able to do,’ ” Leah said.
Riding the roller coaster
Fourteen years later, things have come full circle, in a way.
Leah is again sitting at a cafeteria table, though this time in the Vikings training facility. Sunlight spills through the floor-to-ceiling windows and onto her lap, where her hand rests gently, protectively, over her abdomen that’s not yet giving anything away.
“We have another on the way,” she explains, smiling.
The other three children – Kaden, 7; Quinn, 5; and Kolten, 3 – are spending the morning with a sitter.
In some ways, that first sighting of Kevin seems like just yesterday; and yet in other ways, the two have already lived a lifetime together.
“I can’t even count on two hands the number of moves, the places we’ve lived since then,” Leah laughs.
There was 2008, when New England drafted Kevin in the third round as a reserve QB behind Tom Brady, and the two dated long distance while Leah finished her senior year at SDSU.
Then 2009, when Kevin found himself released by the Patriots and signed by the Lions for – checks calendar – less than a week before being traded back out east to the New York Jets. He spent three seasons in green and white, during which he and Leah got engaged and married within a 12-month period.