San Jose State LB Jared Leaf looks to return to football after severe burns

Jared Leaf in the Spartans final scrimmage of the Spring - Terrell Lloyd-SDSU Athletics

After the Spartans final scrimmage of the Spring, Jared Leaf was listed as the #1 Middle Linebacker on the post-spring depth chart. One month later, he survived a fire at his off-campus apartment that left in him critical condition.

Football players have to worry about injuries like pulled muscles, torn ligaments, or broken bones every time they step on a field, but an injury off the field left San Jose State Linebacker Jared Leaf severely burned and was in critical condition after a fire at his off-campus apartment this April. He then spent six weeks in the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center's burn unit before being allowed to continue his recovery at his home in Martinez, California and plans to resume his classwork this fall."

"I think I have a new appreciation for everyday life," he told reporters at a press conference at his home on Monday, "They always say people our age think they're invincible, and it's really true. You never think something like that can really happen. Then all of a sudden you're stuck in a burning building with one way out."


After starting his career at the University of Hawaii, Leaf transferred to San Jose State to be closer to home. During his season away due to transfer rules, he became heavily involved in the University's theater program. On April 23, he had spent several hours with his theatre group working on a video, then went home and went to sleep.

Around 11:30 p.m. he woke up to smoke coming through his door. A friend had lit a candle that accidentally ignited a couch that started the fire in his third-floor apartment. Rather than jump three stories down, he rushed through the door and through the fire trying to escape. "I ran through blackness, then red and orange and light," he said, "My whole living room and kitchen were on fire."

Leaf suffered second-degree burns on his back, torso, and arms, with his recovery including skin grafts and being placed in a medically-induced coma. Even after all of this, he is still hopeful that he'll be on the field for the Spartans first snap against North Dakota on Aug. 28.

"Only time will tell at this point, I feel exponentially better every day." he said, "There's no doubt I'll be able to get back out there at some point."

If you would like to support Jared and his family, check out the Team Leaf Facebook page.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Mountain West Connection

You must be a member of Mountain West Connection to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mountain West Connection. You should read them.

Join Mountain West Connection

You must be a member of Mountain West Connection to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mountain West Connection. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker