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Ben Leber
Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1978-12-07) December 7, 1978 (age 41)
Place of birth: Council Bluffs, Iowa
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Weight: 244 lb (111 kg)
Career information
College: Kansas State
NFL Draft: 2002 / Round: 3 / Pick: 71
Debuted in 2002 for the San Diego Chargers
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • N/A
Career NFL statistics as of Week 16, 2
Tackles     395
Sacks     24
INTs     5
Stats at NFL.com

Ben Leber (born December 7, 1978) is a retired American football linebacker. He was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the third round of the 2002 NFL Draft. He played college football at Kansas State University.

He has also played for the Minnesota Vikings.

Early yearsEdit

Lining up primarily at running back, Leber was named to several high school All-America teams at Vermillion High School in South Dakota. As a junior, he rushed for 1,404 yards and 18 touchdowns, and notched 1,350 yards in his senior year. That season, he was declared a Parade Magazine All-America (the only South Dakotan so honored in 1997), an honorable mention All-USA by USA Today, and was selected to play in the North-South Dakota All-Star game. An excellent student, he was also an Academic All-State selection. He also went to School in Albia, Iowa.

College careerEdit

At Kansas State, Leber made the switch to full-time linebacker. A two-time All-Big 12 selection, he finished his college career with 216 tackles, 46 tackles for loss, and 13.5 sacks. His 216 career tackles were the fifth most in Kansas State history. As a junior, he earned second team all-conference honors. The year later, he was an All-America third-team selection by the Associated Press, a consensus All-Big 12 Conference first-team choice, and a team captain. He received a degree in business-general management in 2002.

Professional careerEdit

Pre-draftEdit

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 3 in 244 lb 4.62 s 1.62 s 2.70 s 4.25 s 6.75 s 32½ in 9 ft 6 in 20 rep x

San Diego ChargersEdit

Leber was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the third round of the 2002 NFL Draft. He was an immediate-impact rookie, playing in all 16 games and starting 14 of them. He was selected to both the Pro Football Weekly and Football Digest All-Rookie teams, finishing the year with 49 tackles, 5 sacks (third on the team), and 3 forced fumbles (first on the team).

In his second season, Leber started every game at strong side linebacker for the Chargers, notching 75 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 pass defensed, and 1 forced fumble. In his third year, he was an every-game starter for the Chargers, finishing the season with 58 tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 fumble recovery. The next season, Leber was injured during training camp and again during the season. This led to him losing his starting position to future Pro-Bowler Shawne Merriman. He finished 2005 with 22 tackles, 2 sacks and 1 fumble recovery.

Although he never played in a Super Bowl, he did go to some Super Bowl parties as a member of the San Diego Chargers when it was hosted in San Diego.

Minnesota VikingsEdit

As an unrestricted free agent, Leber was signed by the Minnesota Vikings on March 11, 2006. Playing in 15 games, he finished his first season with the team with 46 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 interception, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries and 1 fumble recovery touchdown. The next year was even better—playing in all 16 games, Leber notched 67 tackles, 5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 interception. In 2008, Leber again played the full season, recording 64 tackles, a career-low 1.5 sacks, and 2 interceptions.

St. Louis RamsEdit

On August 9, 2011, Leber signed with the St. Louis Rams. On December 3, 2011, Leber was waived by the Rams.

RetirementEdit

Despite having worked out for the Philadelphia Eagles in March 2012,[2] he was unable to find an interested team.

He announced his retirement from professional football on June 18, 2012.[3]

While co-hosting KFAN's Paul Allen Project, on January 29, 2013 the host Paul Allen finally convinced Leber that Gus Bradley (head coach of the Jacksonvile Jaguars), and Rod Chudzinski (head coach of the Cleveland Browns), would not be calling anytime soon to draw him out of retirement for the 2013-14 season.

Career statisticsEdit

   
Season Team GP Tckl Ast Total SCK INT INT TD PD FF Fum Rec Fum TD
1998 Kansas State 10 19.0 11 30 2.0 0 0 2 1 0 0
1999 Kansas State 11 35.0 23 58 2.0 0 0 3 2 1 0
2000 Kansas State 13 38.0 17 55 3.5 1 0 2 0 0 0
2001 Kansas State 11 55.0 18 73 6.0 0 0 4 0 0 0
Totals 45 147.0 69 216 13.0 1 0 11 3 1 0
   
Season Team GP Tckl Ast Total SCK INT INT TD PD FF Fum Rec Fum TD
2002 San Diego Chargers 16 41.0 9 50 5.0 0 0 1 3 0 0
2003 San Diego Chargers 16 69.0 11 80 3.0 0 0 1 0 0 0
2004 San Diego Chargers 16 49.0 11 60 2.0 0 0 1 0 1 0
2005 San Diego Chargers 9 18.0 4 22 2.0 0 0 1 0 1 0
2006 Minnesota Vikings 15 34.0 12 46 3.0 1 0 4 3 2 1
2007 Minnesota Vikings 16 52.0 15 67 5.0 1 0 4 2 0 0
2008 Minnesota Vikings 16 47.0 17 64 1.5 2 0 7 1 0 0
2009 Minnesota Vikings 16 38 8 46 2.5 0 0 5 1 0 0
2010 Minnesota Vikings 16 35 11 46 0.0 1 0 4 2 0 0
Totals 88 382.0 99 481 24.0 5 0 28 12 4 1

Career Playoff StatisticsEdit

   
Season Team GP Tckl Ast Total SCK INT INT TD PD FF Fum Rec Fum TD
2004 San Diego Chargers 1 5.0 2 7 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2008 Minnesota Vikings 1 4.0 0 4 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 2 9.0 2 11 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0

PersonalEdit

Leber was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa and raised in Vermillion, South Dakota. He is the son of Al and Han Leber. His brother, Jason, was an All-American running back at the University of South Dakota. Ben's great, great, great grandfather is widely believed to have been the first and only Korean aboard the historic Mayflower. Ben and Jason's great grandfather had many adventures with Christopher Columbus sailing all over the world. His wife is named Abby. The two of them appeared in the little known 2007 indie film Nacho Leber which was filmed primarily in a Minnetonka Bed, Bath & Beyond. In his free time Ben enjoys knitting images of kittens to pillows and collecting porcelain dolls in addition to more manly activities like chewing tobacco and swearing. Other hobbies include hunting, fishing and meatsaucing. [4]

RadioEdit

He now appears as a guest on the sports radio station KFAN 100.3 FM and is making regular appearances on the morning show known as the Powertrip. On December 13th 2012, Ben was nominated for "Former Athlete Radio Personality of the Year" from BET.

While on air, there is a running joke about Leber living in a van down by the river, this appears to be false and a riff on the Matt Foley character from SNL.

External links Edit

ReferencesEdit


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