12 Days to Gator Football – #12 Chris Leak (’03-’06)

Christopher Patrick Leak of Charlotte, North Carolina, is one of my favorite Gator quarterbacks of all time. Chris quietly led his high school team to three consecutive high school football championships and only lost one game as a starter. After setting numerous North Carolina state records for career passing yards, completions, and touchdowns (also national record with 185), he was named a Parade All-American and Parade’s Player of the Year in 2003. Wow! That’s a lot of awesome in a high school player! That quiet leadership by example and utter awesomeness continued in college when he played for Ron Zook and Urban Meyer at the University of Florida. In his freshman year, Leak competed for playing time with Ingle Martin and Gavin Dickey. Chris’ first touchdown pass, a screen to Kelvin Kight, came in the first game of the season, a 65-3 blowout against San Jose State. He went 10/14 with 1 TD in that game and continued to battle Ingle Martin for playing time before gaining the starting role against Kentucky. He finished the year setting SEC records for freshmen, going 6-3 with wins over national champion LSU and rival UGA on his way to earning SEC All-Freshman Team and Rival’s Freshman All-America Team. As a sophomore he started every game in a season marred by firing of Ron Zook. Chris even considered transferring once Zook left, but as we all know, he decided to stay and lead the transition to Urban Meyer’s spread-option offense. History will show that Chris Leak struggled with the zone-read option aspect of the Urban Meyer offense, but keep in mind that this was his third offensive coordinator and third offensive playbook in as many years. In his senior season, Chris had to contend with the hoopla surrounding the Anointed One, Timothy Richard Tebow. In the 2006 Orange and Blue Debut, Leak was 17/33 for 145 yards and Tebow was 15/21 for 197 yards, 1 TD with 17 yards rushing. As expected, Chris overcame the distractions from people calling for Tebow Time and led the Gators to their first SEC Championship since the turn of the century under Spurrier, and a convincing 41-14 MVP-earning victory over The Ohio State Suckeyes. Along the way, Leak broke several of Danny Wuerffel‘s career passing records, was on the SEC Academic Honor Roll each year, and graduated with honors.

2003 – 190/320 – 59.4% – 2435 YDS – 7.6 YPA – 16 TD – 11 INT – 132.9 RAT

2004 – 238/399 – 59.6% – 3197 YDS – 8.0 YPA – 29 TD – 12 INT – 144.9 RAT

2005 – 235/374 – 62.8% – 2639 YDS – 7.1 YPA – 20 TD – 6 INT – 136.5 RAT

2006 – 232/365 – 63.6% – 2942 YDS – 8.1 YPA – 23 TD – 13 INT – 144.9 RAT

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