Wednesday Practice Report

Florida's starting quarterback isn't the most vocal Gator. But the coaching staff hopes he'll still be able to lead his team....

Now that Florida freshman Chris Leak will start Saturday's game against Kentukcy, maybe he'll start talking as well. The first-year quarterback has established quite the reputation among his friends as the quiet guy.

"He's in his own little world," tailback DeShawn Wynn said.

Rumor has it, Leak sides for studying film rather than the distractions of Gainesville's social scene – unless, of course, it deals with football.

"If you want to go throw around at 2 o'clock in the morning, he'll jump up, wash his face and be ready to go," Wynn said. "That's about it, though."

One day, when Leak was listening to his headphones on the team bus, tailback Ran Carthon hollered over to him.

"Hey Chris," he said. "What are you listening to? The plays?"

The kid is so serious that some players have expressed concern about the intense focus. Not Coach Ron Zook.

"I don't worry about Chris," he said. "That's the way he's always been. We knew that when we recruited him."

Besides, he must at least go out to catch a movie once in a while, right?

"Maybe if it was a football movie," said Wynn.


After last year's Kentucky game, life wasn't easy for K Matt Leach. The junior admits he heard the murmurs from classmates about his struggles.

"I could kick better than him," he'd here them say. "They give him a scholarship to do that?"

Against the Wildcats, Leach had two extra points blocked, and he'd already missed three prior to that game. By season's midpoint, Leach had missed six of 24 extra points.

UF had so little confidence in him, the Gators started faking field goals from 40 yards out.

"That was a pretty bad feeling," Leach said. "We were the brunt of every joke. We were the team's downfall."

A year later, the joke's on his critics.

Leach now leads the conference in points with 39, and he's nailed 21-of-21 extra points. So while the bad may be behind him, Leach knows his season is far from over. But that doesn't mean he hasn't forgotten about one of his life's roughest years.

"I'm not bitter, but after all the humiliation I went through," Leach says, "it'd be easy to tell people to kiss my…"

Assuming the Gators can keep up the steady stream of confidence, fans will let Leach say whatever he'd like.


OT Max Starks went through a light practice Wednesday after spraining his ankle against Tennessee. The former Lake Highland Prep standout sat out Monday and Tuesday. He is expected to play Saturday. …Zook became agitated when a reporter questioned if QB Ingle Martin will consider a transfer. The coach said the question is irrelevant at this point in the season.

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