Leigh Bodden, Duquesne's record-setting defensive back, is beginning his third season with the Cleveland Browns.
In 2004, Bodden's strong season, especially on special teams, was ended before he got to game 9. He had 18 tackles on special teams, all but two solos, and forced a fumble. He also had nine tackles (8 solo) in the defensive backfield. Two of his 27 tackles came in the first half of game 8 at Baltimore. His season ended when he suffered a shoulder injury in the third quarter of that game.
Bodden became the first *Duke to don a National Football League jersey in fifty years, when he played on special teams for the Cleveland Brown's in their 2003 opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
Bodden moved into the Brown's nickel back rotation against the Arizona Cardinals and grabbed his first career interception in that game. He made his first start against Seattle, because of an injury. In his first season, Bodden had 12 tackles, 10 solo, and three passes broken up in game play and added 11 tackles, 2 solo, on special teams.
The Washington, D.C. area native signed with the AFC North and Pittsburgh Steelers' rival Browns on Sunday, April 28, 2003, following the completion of the 2003 NFL draft earlier that day.
Bodden suffered an injury during training camp but was able to play in all four exhibition games. In the Browns' final two exhibition games, the Hyattsville, Md. native registered four tackles.
In his final season with Duquesne, Bodden was an American Football Coaches Association Division I-AA All-American and the 2002 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Football League Defensive Player of the Year. He also was a consensus All-American as a junior.
The Northwestern High School grad finished his career with 28 interceptions, tying the previous I-AA career record since broken by fellow AFCA All-American Rashean Mathis of Bethune-Cookman.
The holder of every Duquesne interception record, he picked off seven passes in his last season under Coach Gattuso including a school record-tying three vs. Iona. He was a prime reason DU's defense was ranked No. 1 in Division I-AA in 2002 in total and scoring defense and second in pass and pass efficiency defense.
* Al Demao completed a nine-year career in 1953 as a center/linebacker for the Washington Redskins. He is in the Duquesne Sports Hall of Fame and is one of the top 75 players in Redskins' history.