|| Matt Leonard
Career: Four-year letter-winner from 1999-2002 ... Started 23 games in his career ... Accounted for 75 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 8.5 quarterback sacks and three interceptions ... Started games at nose tackle, defensive end and defensive tackle.
The 2002 Season: Started all 11 games at defensive tackle ... Named honorable mention All-Pac-10 ... Chalked up 25 total tackles and a team-leading eight tackles for loss ... Also accounted for two quarterback sacks, two interceptions, one forced fumble and one blocked kick ... Winner of the Russell-Huston Award as the player exemplifying aggressiveness, exceptional performance and unheralded efforts.
The 2001 Season: Named Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 ... Got off to a great start in 2001, but a back injury in game four vs. Washington State limited his playing time the remainder of the season ... He missed four games (vs. Oregon, UCLA, Washington and Arizona) ... Returned to the lineup on a limited basis in games nine and 10 vs. Cal and Notre Dame before returning to the starting lineup for the season finale at San Jose State ... In the Seattle Bowl vs. Georgia Tech, he led all defensive linemen with five total tackles, including four solos ... Had 16 total tackles, including four-and-a-half quarterback sacks and five tackles-for-loss during the regular season ... In the season opener vs. Boston College, Matt had two sacks and tackles-for-loss ... Had another sack and tackle-for-loss in game two vs. Arizona State ... Against San Jose State, he was credited with four tackles and one-and-a-half sacks and tackles-for-loss ... Started a total of five games: the first four and the regular season finale.
The 2000 Season: Finished the season as the starting nose tackle ... Came on strong at the end of the season and became a significant contributor to the Cardinal's defensive effort ... Over the final three games, had 12 total tackles, four tackles-for-loss and two quarterback sacks ... Perhaps the finest game of his career came in The Big Game vs. Cal ... He was named winner of the Frank Rehm Memorial Award as the top lineman in The Big Game after he recorded six tackles, three tackles-for-loss and one quarterback sack ... For the season, he had 21 tackles, six tackles-for-loss, two quarterback sacks and two pass deflections ... He had three tackles, one sack and one tackle-for-loss in game #10 vs. Arizona State.
The 1999 Season: Used as a reserve role in 1999 ... Accounted for 13 total tackles, one tackle-for-loss and one interception ... His interception came in game #2 vs. Washington State ... He also had a career-high five tackles against the Cougars ... Started the Rose Bowl vs. Wisconsin, his first career starting assignment.
The 1998 Season: Redshirted as a true freshman.
In High School: A consensus All-American who was considered the best defensive linemen in the state and one of the top prep prospects in the nation ... Chosen to PrepStar's Dream Team, which ranked him as the fourth best defensive lineman in the country ... Matt was named First-Team All-American by USA Today, SuperPrep and PrepStar, to name a few ... As a senior at Palmdale HS, he had 96 tackles, 30 tackles-for-loss and 11 sacks ... He was chosen the L.A. Daily News Defensive Player of the Year and the Los Angeles Times Lineman of the Year ... Named to the Long Beach Press-Telegram's Best in the West ... Golden League MVP, First-Team All-State and the Antelope Valley Player of the Year following his senior season ... PrepStar ranked him the #1 defensive lineman in the Western Region while SuperPrep ranked him the ninth best overall prospect in the Farwest ... The National Recruiting Advisor ranked Matt the #3 defensive tackle in the nation ... As a junior, he played defensive end and tight end ... He earned First-Team All-Golden Valley League honors as a defensive end ... Participated in track for three years ... Won the league championship in the shot put and discus as a sophomore and junior ... National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete Award winner.
Personal Information: Economics major ... Father, Terry, and mother, Teri, are both stunt persons who have appeared in several movies ... Terry has taken part in over 200 movies in 30-plus years in the business ... Matt appeared as an extra (his mother was a stunt person) in the movie "Die Hard With a Vengeance" ... Brother, Malosi played wide receiver at the University of Arizona (1997-2001)
Leonard's Career Statistics
Year UT AT TT Sack/Yds TFL/Yds Int
1999 4 9 13 0/0 1/1 1
2000 10 11 21 2/13 6/25 0
2001 8 8 16 4.5/34 5/34 0
2002 17 8 25 2/22 8/38 2
Totals 39 36 75 8.5/69 20/98 3