Matt Leinart was born in Santa, Ana California on May 11, 1983. With the heart of a lion, the will to win, and all the intangibles, it is easy to see why he is considered to be one of the best quarterbacks in football. When you add these features to his strong arm and 6 foot 5 inch frame, he has everything that it takes to be a great player in the NFL.
Many people are not aware that Leinart was born cross eyed, and that he had to have surgery to correct this problem at a young age. To add to this, he was also a bit overweight. This led to a lot of ridicule during his younger years, which in turn forced him into sports as an outlet. This worked out for him at Mater Dei High School where he became one of the top quarterback recruits in the entire country. After a stellar senior season in 2000, Leinart accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Southern California.
As a freshman Leinart saw limited action on the field, and did not attempt a pass. The next year he won the starting job, and led the Trojans to wins in the first three games of the season. He finished the season with 3,556 yards passing and also added 38 touchdowns.
His junior year was more of the same. Leinart once again put up big numbers, and he also led the Trojans to an undefeated season and a national title. In the national title game he passed for over 300 yards and five touchdowns.
Going against what everybody thought, Leinart returned to USC for his senior year. Despite another great year, the Trojans fell to the University of Texas in the Rose Bowl which was the national title game for the 2005 season.
In the 2006 NFL Draft Leinart was selected by the Arizona Cardinals with the 10th overall pick. After a long hold out, he finally signed a six year contract worth $51 million. Although he was not the Cardinals full-time starter his entire rookie season, Leinart did see some action. He appeared in 12 games, passing for 2,547 yards and 11 touchdowns.
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