Arizona Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart may be a bruiser on the grid, but fatherhood has turned him into a big softie.
“Being a father is great. It puts things in perspective,” Matt, 24, told reporters backstage at Wednesday’s 15th annual ESPY Awards in Hollywood.
“My son is 8 months now. It’s a blessing to have him in my life. I love it, man. I love being a dad.”
Matt and University of Southern California basketball player Brynn Cameron welcomed Cole Cameron Leinart in October. Matt, who was present for his son’s birth, had to rush to the hospital from his late afternoon practice.
Of his life as a dad, Matt said Wednesday, “It’s different. You’re forced to do all those little things. I love doing it, and I love being with him. I change diapers all the time. You never would think you had so much enjoyment, like kissing someone’s toes and feet – the little things. Like, that’s my little guy. I have a great time with him.”
Matt is coming off a respectable NFL rookie year after a heralded career at USC, and will join his Cardinals teammates at training camp in late July to begin the new season. Despite the demands of football and family, he says he’s learning to balance both.
“It’s definitely more difficult because you’ve got to manage your time differently,” he said. “My priority is my family and my son. Football is my job. But you’ve got to find time to do both.”
Matt wouldn’t comment on his friend Paris Hilton, to whom he was linked last year. When asked if he was still friendly with the heiress, he bolted from the stage without saying a word, to a boom of reporters’ laughs.