Leak named co-offensive player of the week

After leading the fourth-ranked University of Florida football team to a 21-14 win over Florida State in Tallahassee, senior quarterback Chris Leak (Charlotte, N.C.) was named Southeastern Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Week, the league office announced Monday.

The selection is the second Offensive Player of the Week nod that Leak has earned in his collegiate career, having garnered the award once during the 2005 season.

Leak completed 21-of-34 passes for 283 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Seminoles, moving him into first place on the school’s all-time chart for 200-yard passing games with 32 for his career. He connected on 7-of-8 passes for 79 yards on the fourth-quarter drive that culminated with a game-winning 25-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Dallas Baker (New Smyrna Beach, Fla.). The drive marked Leak’s third game-winning fourth-quarter drive of the season.

The Charlotte, N.C., native also directed a Florida offense that picked up 388 yards of total offense against an FSU defense that entered the contest ranked 12th in the nation. The Gators’ yardage total represented the most yards gained by a Florida State opponent this season. With the win, Leak became the only starting quarterback in school history to defeat Tennessee in Knoxville, beat Georgia twice, win in Tallahassee twice, down LSU in Baton Rouge and win a bowl game in his career. He also became just the second signal caller in UF history to win twice at Florida State, joining former Florida great Kerwin Bell.

A true senior in his fourth season as the Gators’ starting quarterback, Leak is 191-of-299 for 2,540 yards and 21 touchdowns on the year, and needs just 65 passing yards to break Danny Wuerffel’s school mark of 10,875 yards. He enters the SEC Championship Game ranked third in the conference in touchdown passes (21) and completion percentage (63.9 percent), as well as fourth in passing efficiency (151.1), passing average per game (211.7 yards) and passing yards (2,540). His 21 scoring tosses exceed his total of 20 from a year ago, and match or better the Florida leader in touchdown passes from 40 of the last 50 years.

Leak is one of nine Florida players who have combined to earn 10 SEC weekly honors this season. This week’s recognition gives UF an SEC Player of the Week for the fifth-consecutive week, as freshman wide receiver Riley Cooper (Clearwater, Fla.) received Freshman of the Week status after the Western Carolina game, junior defensive end Jarvis Moss (Denton, Texas) claimed SEC Special Teams Player of the Week honors after the South Carolina game, and Moss and senior defensive lineman Ray McDonald (Belle Glade, Fla.) took conference Defensive Lineman of the Week honors following the Vanderbilt and Georgia games, respectively.