Leak, Crowder SEC Freshmen of the Year

Quarterback <B>Chris Leak</B> and linebacker <B>Channing Crowder</B> of Florida were named the SEC Players of the Year on offense and defense respectively.

University of Florida freshmen Chris Leak and Channing Crowder were named the Freshmen Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year in the Southeastern Conference, while Florida placed five members on the 2003 All-SEC Freshman Team as announced Thursday by The Sporting News.

Wide receiver Andre Caldwell, defensive tackle Ray McDonald, punter Eric Wilbur, Crowder and Leak were all named to the All-SEC Freshman Team as Florida had more members on the squad than any other SEC team. The Gators also had more true freshmen on the team (Caldwell, Crowder, Leak, Wilbur) than any other school.

Leak ended the regular season 6-2 as a starter and threw for 2,167 yards and 14 touchdowns. Crowder finished second on the team with 97 tackles and averaged nearly 10 per game. Caldwell hauled in 19 receptions for 174 yards, while McDonald finished second among all UF defensive linemen with 48 tackles and four sacks. Wilbur averaged 44.8 yards on 57 punts to finish eighth nationally and second in the SEC.

The five selections to the team were the most for Florida since the Gators placed five on the 1995 team. Crowder became the first Florida player to be named Freshman Defensive Player of the Year, while Leak joins Jabar Gaffney (2000), Danny Wuerffel (1993) and Emmitt Smith (1987) as Gators who have been named the Freshman Offensive Player of the Year.

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