Dallas, Seattle, Arizona, Tennessee and Green Bay were all interested. "But I just thought Chicago was the best fit for me," Leffew, who started on three straight championship teams at Boyle County, said.
His agent in New Jersey had kept close tabs on the draft and knew exactly how many linemen each team had drafted. Chicago picked just one offensive lineman - guard Tyler Reed of Penn State in the sixth round.
Chicago had made it clear to Leffew it was interested. He had flown to their facility before the draft and been in contact with the Bears' coaches.
His brother, Bobby, signed a free agent deal with the Bears in 2005 and went to the same rookie minicamp that Travis Leffew will attend Thursday. Bobby didn't make the roster, but he's already told his younger brother some of the things he can expect during the four-day camp.
Has had a stellar career
"I think there is a little bit of disappointment over not getting drafted and having your name called on TV for everyone to hear," Leffew said. "It was a great opportunity for me and I had a chance to be the first player out of Boyle County drafted. But that has passed. Fortunately, I still have my chance to play in the NFL.
"I really don't have much to complain about. Not many players are going to get to do what I do this week, or hopefully will do in the future."
He's already done plenty from his stellar career at Boyle to starting every game for four straight years at Louisville. However, he knows he will need to be even more versatile to earn a roster spot with the Bears.
Some NFL analysts have worried about whether he has the size to play tackle or speed to play guard. Leffew says the Bears want him to be able to play both spots. He's also going to work on becoming a center.
"I played center last spring at Louisville when we weren't sure who the center was going to be," he said. "I think I could do it. I just have to get used to the snapping. I know the game. I think I could pick it up pretty easy. In the NFL, you have to do what will keep you in the game the longest."
And earning those nice NFL paychecks.
Leffew says he's not worried about the value of his free agent deal. "Money-wise, I'm not sure what most free agents even get. But if you make the team, the money takes care of itself," he said.
Hasn't told many people
Leffew said today that he's not had time to tell many people about his contract with the Bears. "I sent a few text messages, but I couldn't call a lot of people because I was still getting calls from people asking me about signing as a free agent," Leffew said. "When it gets in the paper, that's when everybody will know."
He watched the draft Sunday with his family. He says his mother's "heart dropped" when Seattle called and she thought about him being so far from home. "I even thought that would be a long haul to drive my truck," he said. "Chicago is better. It's about 6 1/2 hours from home. So everything turned out fine."
Leffew plans to spend the next couple of days relaxing a little and then going over fundamentals to get ready for the minicamp.
"All this is a dream come true for me. When I got the first phone call (from a NFL team), my stomach dropped and it kind of freaked me out. My little sister had tears in her eyes," he said. "We were all so nervous to see what was going to happen.
"But now I'm really excited. I've had so many good things happen to me in football that I know I've been lucky. But there is no need to stop now. I've come this far, so I plan to just give it my best shot and see what happens."