I think this is a huge career mistake. He had the #1 overall if not, then at least #2 overall pick as his draft spot for sure. Someone was going to take him and give him an enormous contract (see Rivers or Manning last year).
Now he's going to have the same problem Jason White had. How can he possibly generate any more or even keep the same level of interest from scouts as he had this year. He practically must, and I mean absolutely must, finish in first place, win the Bowl game, get Heismann honors again, and play practically perfect to not have his value drop.
The only way this move makes any sense is if he doesn't plan on having an NFL career.
I agree completely (except any implication that Leinart and White translate equally to the pro level). I understand reasons for going back but if you are guaranteed #1 or #2 money (almost certainly #1) how can you pass it up? I know he's insured but that still doesn't change anything. If football is truly what he wants in his future then the only decision is to go pro now and I don't care what team he is being drafted by. Niners should trade down once or even twice btw. QB is the least of their problems.