Leak adds MVP to list of merits


Chris Leak pitches the ball during the first quarter.

TRACY WILCOX/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

GLENDALE, Ariz. - When people talked about University of Florida quarterback Chris Leak, there would inevitably be a but in the sentence.

He can throw the ball, but he's not a good runner.

He has nice numbers, but he's never won anything.

While Leak still isn't the most nimble, he will leave the University of Florida a winner.

Chris Leak was 25-of-36 for 213 yards and one touchdown in helping the Gators to a 41-14 victory Monday over Ohio State in the BCS National Championship Game and was named the game's offensive MVP.

He started the contest connecting on his first nine passes. He didn't force any passes and managed the UF offense the entire evening.

Leak hit Percy Harvin for a 5-yard gain to start the opening drive. Six plays later, Leak found Dallas Baker in the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7.

Leak was in a rhythm and kept the Gators that way the entire evening.

It was just a matter of time for Leak, who had been getting individual honors since high school.

He set national and state prep quarterback records during his four-year career at Independence High School in Charlotte, N.C.

He threw a national high school record 185 touchdown passes and was second in national prep history with 15,593 career passing yards.

He led his high school team to three straight titles and 46 straight wins as a three-year captain and four-year starter.

Those accolades and numbers continued when he arrived in Gainesville.

Leak entered the BCS title game holding the team record for passing yardage (11,000), completions (870) and attempts (1,422) and was second in touchdowns (100).

Yet, even he admitted at the beginning of the season that his career wouldn't be complete unless he won this year.

Thus, it was only fitting that the last play of the game came with him taking a knee.

Now, Leak will go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks in Florida history.

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