Kentucky coach Rich Brooks notices Leger as much as any of his highly-touted skilled players. He knows without Leger and the other linemen, UK quarterback Andre Woodson would not have been able to throw for 310 yards and five touchdowns against Florida Atlantic to continue his Heisman Trophy campaign.
"Jason Leger obviously has taken like a duck to water to the offensive line. His toughness is very evident," Brooks said. "Even when he has something bothering him, you are not going to get him out with a crowbar. He is a tough guy and wants to be where the action is. A lot of yards we have made between the tackles (running) is because of blocks he has made."
Yet even now Leger may still have more of a defensive mentality -- or certainly a more aggressive attitude than most offensive linemen.
"Offensive line is something that has just worked out for me. You just have to take the opportunity and run with it," Leger, who moved from defense to offense midway of last season, said.
Leger uses his toughness and twice has been named Southeastern Conference Offensive Lineman of the Week this season.
"You get downfield and you get a free shot on somebody, then you get a little defensive mentality coming back at you. You get a free shot, you have to take it," Leger said. "I try to make my offensive game as physical as I can be. If I am downfield, I am trying to cut somebody. It all works out well."
Leger won't say he's meaner than the average offensive lineman. But he won't deny it, either.
"No, I can't deny that," Leger said. "When you come out of Rockcastle County, you should be tough. That's the way we are coached."
Even today Leger still thinks it is physically tougher to play defense than offense.
"Most of the time you are double teamed on defense. On offense, you are the one doing the double teaming. That's a lot easier on you," Leger said.
Sometimes his patience is tested when he's pass blocking for Woodson, who Leger says deserves to be a Heisman Trophy candidate.
"You have to wait for stuff to come to you and let it happen. On defense, you have to be attacking people and making stuff happen. It is kind of the opposite on offense and that has not been easy to get used to," Leger said.
Leger insists he could get used to UK's success going into Thursday's game at South Carolina.
"It's a lot better to be 5-0 than 0-5 starting SEC play," Leger said even though UK actually is 1-0 in SEC play thanks to its win at Arkansas. "This way if we do make a mistake and lose a game, it won't be that bad. But we don't plan on losing any."
UK notes: Micah Johnson's 21-yard interception return in the fourth quarter was UK's first interception return for a score since Ricky Abren had one against Tennessee on Nov. 27, 2004. ... The Wildcats are 23-for-24 in the red zone this season after failing to score on a second-half chance ... Kentucky has had more than 400 yards of total offense in its last nine games ... Kentucky had 514 yards and went over the 500-yard mark for the second time this season, the first time that has happened since 2002 ... Running back Rafael Little had his 11th 100-yard rushing game to tie Artose Pinner for third on UK's all-time list ... Keenan Burton became the third UK player to have 2,000 career receiving yards as he joined Craig Yeast and Derek Abney. He now has 2,051 yards ... Burton moved into 10th place on the career all-purpose yardage list with 3,396 after amassing 187 yards on Saturday.