University of Florida senior quarterback Chris Leak (Charlotte, N.C.) was among the 11 finalists for the 2006 Manning Award announced on Wednesday by the Sugar Bowl Committee. The Manning Award, given to the nation’s top quarterback, is the only award for college signal callers that takes into consideration the candidate’s performance in a bowl game.
Leak, a true senior in his fourth year as the starter under center for the Gators, is 170-of-256 for 2,257 yards and 19 touchdowns this season. He currently ranks third in the Southeastern Conference in touchdown passes (19) and completion percentage (64.2 percent), fourth in passing efficiency (151.05) and fifth in both passing average per game (205.2 yards) and passing yards (2,257). He has five multi-touchdown pass games this season, and his 19 scoring throws match or better the UF season leader in 34 of 50 years since 1955.
In addition to his accolades this season, Leak is also one of the most prolific quarterbacks in Florida history. He holds school records in passing attempts (1,358), pass completions (833) and total offense (10,652), while sharing the school mark for 200-yard passing games with former UF standout Danny Wuerffel (31). Leak is also second on the school charts in passing yards (10,528), passing touchdowns (84) and touchdown responsibility (96). He needs only 347 passing yards to surpass Wuerffel’s school standard of 10,875.
The Manning Award, created in the honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning, will be presented during the holiday bowl season. The winner will be determined by a select panel of national media, as well as each of the Mannings. Texas’ Vince Young took home the hardware in 2005, while Matt Leinart of Southern California was the 2004 recipient.