2004: The steady, underrated Leach returns for his second season as the starting free safety as a senior in 2004.
2003: Leach started all of his 2003 junior season at free safety after playing strong safety earlier in his career. Overall in 2003 while starting all 13 games, he had 88 tackles (second on USC), including 5.5 for losses of 15 yards (with a 4-yard sack), plus 6 deflections, 1 fumble recovery, 1 forced fumble and 2 interceptions for 25 yards (12.5 avg.) with a touchdown. He was named to the 2003 All-Pac-10 honorable mention squad. He also won USC's Bob Chandler Award (top underclassman student/athlete/leader). At Arizona, he had a game-best 12 tackles (2 for a loss), plus a forced fumble (which set up a USC TD) and a deflection. He posted a game-high 11 tackles (with a deflection) at California. He added 9 tackles (with a sack) against Oregon State, 8 stops each against Arizona State (with an interception), Auburn, Washington and Michigan in the Rose Bowl (with 1 for a loss, plus a deflection), 6 tackles versus Notre Dame and Washington State, 4 against UCLA, 3 versus Hawaii (he also returned an interception 25 yards for a TD) and BYU, and 2 against Stanford.
2002: Leach backed up Troy Polamalu at strong safety again in 2002 as a sophomore and also played on special teams. He was used often in extra defensive back formations. He even started twice (against California and Iowa in the Orange Bowl) for an injured Polamalu. Overall in 2002 while appearing in all 13 games, he made 30 tackles, including 1 for a 12-yard loss, had 3 deflections, 1 fumble recovery and 1 forced fumble, and led USC in interceptions with 4 for 52 yards (13.0 avg.). He had 6 tackles at Washington State (playing most of the game after Polamalu got hurt), 5 at Stanford and 4 against Auburn. Against Iowa, he had 2 tackles, recovered a fumble (which USC recovered to set up a field goal) and returned an interception 15 yards. His other interceptions came against Colorado (for 6 yards), Washington State (16 yards to set up a USC TD) and California (15 yards to set up a USC field goal).
2001: Leach backed up Troy Polamalu at strong safety, but saw significant action in extra defensive back situations and on special teams as a redshirt freshman in 2001. Overall in 2001 while appearing in all 12 games, he had 8 tackles and a deflection. He had 3 tackles against UCLA and 2 versus Arizona State and California.
2000: Leach redshirted as a freshman safety in 2000, his first year at USC.
HIGH SCHOOL: He was a 1999 Prep Star All-American, Super Prep All-Farwest, Tom Lemming All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West honorable mention, Orange County Register Fab 15 third team, Las Vegas Sun Super 11 honorable mention, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, All-CIF Division I first team and Los Angeles Times All-San Gabriel Valley first team pick as a senior defensive back at Bishop Amat High in La Puente (Calif.). He had 75 tackles, 5 tackles for losses, 9 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 5 interceptions in 1999, as well as 13 punt returns for 150 yards (11.5 avg) with a TD and 11 kickoff returns for 250 yards (22.7 avg) with a TD.
As a 1998 junior, he posted 70 tackles, 6 tackles for losses, 5 interceptions, 4 fumble recoveries and 2 forced fumbles.
As a 1997 sophomore, he made the Cal-Hi Sports All-State Sophomore first team.
He also ran track at Bishop Amat, with a best of 10.9 in the 100 meters. Current Trojan Alex Gomez also prepped at Bishop Amat.
PERSONAL: He's a public management and planning major at USC. His cousin is former Arizona State safety Alfred Williams (1999-2002). He likes to work on classic cars.
JASON LEACH ON:
Hitting: "I like to hit. If the ball is in the air and neaby, I'll try to go for it. But if it's out of reach, I'll just hit the person."
WHAT OTHERS SAY: Former USC 2-time All-American safety Troy Polamalu: "Jason is an excellent player. There was no difference at all, having him in there or with me being in there."
GAME-BY-GAME WITH JASON LEACH