Over the past month and a half, Jared Leaf had more important things to worry about. Now, however, he’s gotten to the point where he can actually contemplate a return to the game he loves.
In late April, the San Jose State linebacker suffered second-degree burns escaping a fire at his apartment. Leaf was hospitalized for 40 days, part of the time in a medically-induced coma while also enduring a series of painful skin grafts.
In his first public comments since the fire, Leaf said that running through “a wall of fire” caused “the worst pain” he had ever experienced. Leaf did, though, state that he hopes to play football for the Spartans this season, even as his skin is still to sensitive for the kind of contact involved in college football.
When a medical decision will be made on Leaf’s availability for any or all of the upcoming season won’t be made for another couple of months.
Leaf began his playing career at Hawaii before transferring to SJSU last year. After sitting out the 2013 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules and prior to the fire, Leaf was expected to start for the Spartans.
Below is a video clip, provided by the university, of Leaf’s interview:
UCLA takes advantage of Stanford miscues to lead 10-3 at halftime
UCLA did their best to battle their demons when facing off against league rival Stanford in the first half on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl.
The Bruins took advantage of two Cardinal turnovers and converted both into scores as they took a 10-3 lead into the locker room.
Quarterback Josh Rosen was 7-of-11 for 77 yards for UCLA and tossed a beautiful strike into the hands of Nate Iese for the game’s only touchdown.
Stanford superstar Christian McCaffrey was mostly held in check by his standards: 13 yards receiving and just 59 yards rushing on 10 carries. The story of the Stanford offense came at quarterback however, as starter Ryan Burns tossed an interception and was replaced on the next series by backup Keller Chryst. Burns later returned to action but it could be a short leash for the signal-caller if things don’t pick up in the second half.
Auburn can’t find the end zone but does pull off the upset over No. 18 LSU
Heading into Saturday’s matchup between the Tigers of Auburn and the Tigers of LSU, all anybody in SEC country could talk about was job status of the two head coaches and if — or when — they would be fired.
Call it the Buyout Bowl or the Hot Seat Shootout if you must, but it was Auburn’s Gus Malzahn who emerged victorious in a 18-13 win that was the furthest thing from an offensive showcase but perfectly encapsulated the whacky careers of both coaches in the final seconds.
LSU had a chance to win the game in the final seconds after mounting an impressive drive 60 yard drive into the red zone. After quarterback Danny Etling got off a pass to Malachi Dupre on the 10 yard line on third and 16, the Tigers hustled up to the line but were called for an illegal shift on the ensuing play.
With just one second left on the clock after officials reviewed things, Etling appeared to throw a remarkable game-winning touchdown pass to the back of the end zone. That set off a crazy celebration on the LSU sideline given that they had apparently won the game in the most Les Miles-esque of fashions.
But it was not meant to be.
Officials reviewed the play and said LSU did not in fact get the play off and Auburn escaped with the win thanks to six Daniel Carlson field goals. It was the Tigers first home win in seven tries over a Power Five opponent and snapped a streak of six straight losses at home to SEC teams.
The win certainly buys Malzhan a bit of a cooler hot seat come Sunday morning but does no favors to that of Miles’ seat. The veteran LSU head coach was nearly axed after last season but returned, and then promptly lost the team’s opener to Wisconsin to hear even more calls for his firing.
Those calls will surely intensify again after Saturday’s wild night on the Plains in what could prove to be the beginning of the end for at least one head coach in the SEC West.
Jim Harbaugh thinks Jeremy Clark’s injury is ‘a season-ender’
Jeremy Clark started the first three games of the 2016 season for Michigan because All-American Jourdan Lewis was battling through some nagging injuries.
Lewis (pictured, No. 34) returned to the lineup Saturday against Penn State, but, unfortunately, it appears his replacement has been lost for a substantial period of time. In fact, after the beatdown of the Nittany Lions, head coach Jim Harbaugh didn’t shy away from the fact that the senior cornerback is likely gone for the remainder of the year with a torn ACL.
“Sad right now about Jeremy Clark, I don’t think we’re going to be able to dodge a bullet on that one. That’s got everyone in the locker room a little sad right now,” Harbaugh said. “We think it’s a season-ender, we think it’s an ACL. We’ll know more tonight.”
A fifth-year senior, whether Clark would qualify for a sixth season is decidedly unclear.
While Clark stepped aside for the return of Lewis, he would’ve been a consideration for the starter at the corner position opposite the All=Big Ten performer. At the very least, he likely would’ve served as the nickel corner.
Prior to this season, Clark had made 13 starts for the Wolverines.
WATCH: Woman blocks football with her face at LSU-Auburn game
One more thing, for those who question my laughing at another’s misfortune: I laugh, and will continue to laugh way too much and way too hard at the video below every single time I see it. The cute little girl doing the face plant? My then-six-year-old daughter.