Height: 5'10"
Weight: 165
Year: Senior
City/State: Omaha, Neb.
High School: Creighton Prep


Honors & Awards

  • Two-time Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year (2002-03)
  • Two-time Verizon/CoSIDA  First-Team Academic All-American (2002-03)
  • 2003 BIg 12 Sportsperson of the Year
  • 2002-03 NU Male Student-Athlete of the Year
  • 2003 Second-Team All-Big 12
  • 2003 Dairy Queen Baseball Classic MVP
  • 2003 12th round draft pick (San Diego)
  • 2003 Captain
  • 2002 Seventh-round draft pick (Anaheim)
  • 2002 First-Team All-American (ABCA) 
  • 2002 NCBWA Distict VI Player of the Year 
  • 2002 Lincoln All-Regional Team
  • 2002 First-Team All-Big 12
  • 2002 Baseball Lifter of the Year
  • 2001 Lincoln Regional MVP
  • 2001 Second-Team Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-American
  • 2001 Second-Team ABCA All-Midwest Region
  • 2001 Second-Team All-Big 12 (Coaches)
  • Three-Time First-Team Academic All-District VII
  • Three-Time First-Team Academic All-Big 12
  • 2001-02 Nebraska Student-Athlete Advisory Board Member

Career Wrapup
One of the finest players to ever play baseball at the University of Nebraska, senior Jeff Leise (pronounced LIE-zee) concluded an amazing career in 2003. A career .346 hitter and a three-year starter in center field, Leise ranked second on NU’s career lists in hits (305), runs scored (210) and triples (20) while stealing 63 bases in 69 attempts. During his career, he helped Nebraska to 195 wins, two Big 12 regular-season titles (the first since 1950), and the school’s first College World Series appearances in school history in 2001 and 2002

A 12th-round draft pick of the San Diego Padres, Leise’s leadership and work ethic made him one of the best center fielders in college baseball, and helped him to great success in the classroom. He was the Verizon Academic All-American of the Year in 2002 and 2003 becoming only the second baseball player to earn the prestigious honor in back-to-back years. He was also the 2003 Big 12’s Male Sportsperson of the Year, an award that combines athletic accomplishment, academic success and community involvement.

2003 Senior
Finished his senior year hitting .325 with seven homers, 37 RBIs...led NU in hits (88), stolen bases (20) and triples (seven) as a senior, while ranking second in runs (58) and multi-hit games (27)...batted .358 with 25 runs scored in 27 league starts...tabbed the best defensive outfielder in the league by a vote of the Big 12 coaches in Baseball America’s preseason issue...two-time Verizon Baseball Academic All-American of the Year (2002-03) who carries a 3.79 GPA in psychology...chosen in the seventh round of the 2002 MLB Draft by Anaheim, but turned down a six-figure offer to return to NU...has surprising power for a leadoff hitter (27 career HR, including five leadoff blasts)...selected as the MVP of the DQ Baseball Classic, hitting .467 with two homers, two triples, six RBIs and a pair of stolen bases...tied career bests for hits and runs scored, going 4-for-6 with four runs scored in a win over Minnesota on March 2...named NU’s Male Student-Athlete of the Year on April 13, becoming the first baseball player to ever win the award...went 4-for-5 with three runs scored against Minnesota on April 30... NCAA Lincoln Regional: Hit .200 (5-for-25) in five games, highlighted by a 3-for-6 effort with three RBIs against Eastern Michigan on May 31...also had two hits in NCAA opener against the Eagles on May 30.
At the Big 12 Tournament: Had five hits in 19 at-bats while scoring six runs over four games...had three hits and scored twice in NU’s opening round win over Kansas...recorded a pair of multi-hit games and scored twice in three different contests. vs. Baylor: Went 3-for-10 with two RBIs and a pair of runs scored...had two hits and drove in a pair of runs in NU’s 6-2 victory in the opener. vs. Oklahoma State: Keyed the Husker sweep of OSU, going 5-for-11 with a pair of walks...had two multi-hit games and scored three times in Monday’s win. At Texas Tech: Had six hits in 15 at-bats, including three hits Saturday and two hits, including a two-run homer, on Sunday. vs. Texas: Was 1-for-8 against the Longhorns, but had a pair of sacrifices in NU’s 3-2 win in the opener. vs. Missouri: Batted .500 (6-for-12) with three RBIs and three runs scored against the Tigers...had two multi-hit games, including a three-hit effort in Saturday’s 11-9 win...went 1-for-3 with a three-run homer and a pair of walks in the series finale. At Kansas: Went 3-for-12 with five runs scored...opened the series with three hits and three runs scored in the opener. At Oklahoma: Batted .357 with three stolen bases and two runs scored. vs. KSU: Was the sparkplug of NU’s sweep, going 6-for-14 (.429) with four runs scored and a stolen base...had three hits and scored twice in the series opener. At Texas A&M: Went 3-for-14 with a stolen base against the Aggies, including a 2-for-4 effort with a double in a 3-2 win on March 14.

2002 - Junior
Leise stepped to the forefront in 2002, serving as the catalyst of a Husker team that reached the College World Series for the second consecutive campaign. He enjoyed one of the finest seasons ever by a Husker outfielder, earning first-team All-America honors from the American Baseball Coaches Association and was tabbed by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association as the District VI Player of the Year. His excellence on the diamond was only equaled by his performance in the classroom, where he was chosen as the Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year.

A seventh-round selection by the Anaheim Angels, he finished his junior season with a .371 average with 12 homers and 51 RBIs from his leadoff position. He topped the Huskers in hits and stolen bases while ranking among the Big 12’s leaders in seven offensive categories: triples (eight, first); hits (109, second); total bases (172, second); average (.371, fourth); stolen bases (25, fourth); home runs (12, eighth) and slugging percentage (.585, eighth). He tied Francis Collins’ single-season school record with 109 hits, while Leise’s 36 multi-hit games were the most by a Husker since Collins had 37 in 1997.

On the season, Leise started 67 of NU’s 68 games, while reaching base in 64 contests. After opening the year with a nine-game hitting streak, he stayed above the .370 mark all season and took a .400 average into the final month of the season before a 6-for-32 dry spell early in the final month ended his bid to become the 10th Husker to hit better than .400 in a season.

Leise was also one of the Big 12’s best defensive outfielders, committing three errors in 168 chances, including one in his final 64 contests, while throwing out three runners and using his range to get to balls in the gaps.

At the Big 12 Tournament, he was a sparkplug for the Big Red, batting .400 (8-for-20) with a team-best five RBIs. He had three hits and drove in a pair of runs against Texas Tech to help snap the Red Raiders’ 16-game winning streak, before recording his second three-hit game against Texas in the championship game.

He started the NCAA Regional slowly, going one for his first 11, before tying a career high with four hits against Southwest Missouri State in the title game. Leise batted .300 (3-for-10) with two RBIs and two runs scored in the Super Regional against Richmond, including a 2-for-4 effort with two RBIs and two runs scored in the decisive final game against the Spiders. One of the few Huskers to struggle offensively, Leise went just 2-for-11 at the College World Series. In all, he finished the postseason with a .270 batting average in eight contests.

2001 - Sophomore
One of the Big 12’s most improved players, Leise also emerged as one of the circuit’s top players during the 2001 campaign. A first-team selection by the Dallas Morning News, Leise was tabbed a second-team All-Big 12 selection by the conference coaches. In addition, Leise was a second-team Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-American and a second-team All-Midwest Region pick by the American Baseball Coaches Association.

On the season, Leise’s .380 average was second only to first-team All-American John Cole’s .418 average. Leise was second on the squad with 29 multiple-hit games, while ranking fourth with 11 multiple-RBI contests. He ranked in the league’s top 10 in triples (five, third), runs scored (67, fifth), on-base percentage (.462, eighth) and hits (93, fourth), making 57 of his 63 appearances as the Huskers’ starting center fielder. Leise also was a perfect 17-of-17 on the basepaths and reached base safely in 56 of 63 contests in his first season in the starting lineup. He hit safely in 53 of the 58 games he had a plate appearance, while his 93 hits ranked ninth on school charts.

In conference play, Leise batted .340 with 14 RBIs and 21 runs scored. He was 5-for-5 on the basepaths, while his four triples in conference play led the Big 12.

He began the season on a tear, opening the year on an 18-game hitting streak, the ninth-highest total in school history, before it ended at Wichita State on March 20. During that stretch, he hit. 408 with four homers, 20 RBIs and 29 runs scored from his leadoff spot. He had 10 multi-hit performances, highlighted by a 2-for-3 effort against Centenary on March 17, when he hit a pair of homers, drove in six runs and walked three times, setting career bests in an 11-1 victory.

Leise, who hit .360 or better the entire season and enjoyed a 15-game hitting streak from March 24 to April 14, turned in a pair of four-hit games in 2001. Against Wisconsin-Milwaukee on March 28, he went 4-for-5 with a career-high four runs scored and three RBIs in a 16-10 Husker win. He matched the feat against Creighton, his father’s alma mater, by going 4-for-4 in a game shortened to six innings at Rosenblatt Stadium on May 9. Defensively, he committed just two errors in 113 chances, including one error in his final 35 contests.

He stepped to the forefront during the Huskers’ postseason run, batting .393 with two home runs and 10 RBIs during NU’s run to the College World Series. He was tabbed the Most Outstanding Player of the Lincoln Regional, batting .538 with a pair of homers and eight RBIs over a three-game stretch. Leise also scored five runs, had a pair of sacrifices and stole a pair of bases. In the regional title game against Rutgers, he went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer in the seventh before his two-out, two-run single broke a 10-all tie. Against Rice in the Super Regional, he went 3-for-8 with a pair of sacrifices and two stolen bases. In the clinching win, Leise punched the Huskers’ ticket to Omaha, delivering a two-run bases-loaded single in the 10th inning in NU’s 9-6 win over the Owls. In the two games in Omaha, Leise was held to one hit in seven at-bats, scoring a run and driving in another, as the Huskers made their first CWS appearance.

2000 - Freshman
Leise played a valuable reserve role for the Huskers in his rookie campaign, helping NU to a 51-17 record and a berth in the Super Regional against Stanford. One of only two true freshmen among the Huskers’ everyday position players, Leise appeared in 30 games and batted .211 with one homer and 14 RBIs.

He started 14 contests, including 11 in center field, committing one error in 24 chances, seeing extensive duty late in the season after injuries to John Cole and Jamal Strong.

Leise’s best performances of the season came in a two-game series against Western Illinois, where he went 4-for-6 with a homer, five RBIs and a run scored. He went 3-for-4 in the opener with two runs scored and hit his only home run of the season, a grand slam, in the second game of the series.

lthough he hit just .118 (4-for-34) in conference play, his game-winning RBI single in the 10th inning of the Huskers’ 14-13 win over Iowa State on April 29 may have been one of the key moments of the season, as the Huskers rallied from a 10-run deficit after one and a half innings.

Before Nebraska
Leise was a first-team All-Nebraska selection by the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal Star as an outfielder his final two seasons at Creighton Prep High School in Omaha. As a junior, he was sixth in the state with a .477 batting average, the best among underclassmen. In 30 games, he had 41 hits in 86 at bats and scored 31 runs. He also had 35 RBIs, six triples, seven home runs and 15 stolen bases. He played summer ball for the Omaha Bluejays.


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HuskersNside look at Jeff Leise
HuskersNside look at Jeff Leise