|Leighton Vander Esch Quick Info
|6 ft 4 in
|Date of Birth
|February 8, 1996
Leighton Vander Esch is an American football linebacker who played college football at Boise State and was later drafted by the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL) in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Leighton Vander Esch
Riggins, Idaho County, Idaho, United States
Leighton Vander Esch studied at Salmon River High School situated in Riggins and played various sports, competing in eight-man football, basketball, and track.
He then enrolled at Boise State University, a public research university located in Boise, Idaho.
- Others – Caleb Vander Esch (Cousin) (Played college football as a wide receiver at South Dakota and professionally for the Arlington Renegades)
6 ft 4 in or 193 cm
116 kg or 255.5 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
He has dated –
- Maddy Vander Esch – He is married to Maddy Vander Esch and it was announced in June 2023 that they were expecting their first child in January 2024.
Race / Ethnicity
He is of Dutch descent.
Leighton Vander Esch Facts
- During his school years, he played many sports including football (in which he played as a quarterback and middle linebacker).
- Leighton completed 121 out of 199 attempts (60.8 percent) for 2,155 yards and 28 passing touchdowns with one interception as a senior as well as had 157 carries for 1,565 yards and 34 rushing touchdowns, 131 tackles (85 solo), five interceptions, five fumble recoveries, and four defensive touchdowns.
- In his school’s final 53-38 win against Lighthouse Christian School, he went on to collect more than 500 yards of total offense as well as scored all five of his team’s offensive touchdowns. Also, he led his school to a 1A D2 state championship and was named All-Idaho 1A Division II Player of the Year.
- During his school years, he also played basketball and averaged 29.4 points and 11.1 rebounds per game as a senior as well as led his school to consecutive 1A D2 state championships.
- While at Boise State University, Leighton redshirted in his freshman year in 2015 and appeared in all twelve games as a backup linebacker and registered 20 tackles (14 solo), one sack, one fumble recovery, and a first down on a fake punt.
- After he suffered a neck injury, he was limited to six games as a sophomore in 2016 and eventually returned in the twelfth game against Air Force, tallying 27 tackles (23 solo), 3.5 tackles-for-loss, one sack, and one interception.
- Leighton Vander Esch became a starter at weak-side linebacker as a junior in 2017 and that proved to be his breakout season. After making 141 tackles (fifth in the FBS), four sacks, two interceptions, and four forced fumbles (led the team), he was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year.
- Following the 2017 season, he decided not to play for the Broncos as a senior in 2018 and entered the 2018 NFL Draft. Subsequently, he attended the NFL Scouting Combine at Indianapolis and attended pre-draft visits with multiple teams such as the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys, and Buffalo Bills.
- Leighton was regarded to be a first-round pick by NFL draft experts and scouts and was ranked as the third-best linebacker prospect in the draft by Sports Illustrated, the third-best outside linebacker by DraftScout.com, the fourth-best linebacker by NFL analyst Mike Mayock, and the sixth-best outside linebacker in the draft by ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr.
- In the 2018 NFL Draft, he was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round (19th overall) and went on to sign a fully guaranteed four-year $11.84 million that includes a signing bonus of $6.69 million on May 11, 2018.
- He re-signed with the Dallas Cowboys on a two-year deal on March 14, 2023.
Featured Image by All-Pro Reels / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED