Leak gives self a 'C'

Moments after concluding his initial scrimmage as Tennessee's No. 1 quarterback, C.J. Leak was asked to rate his performance.

''I'd give myself a C,'' he said following a 90-minute scrimmage Saturday at Neyland Stadium. ''There's so much I can get better at. I think I did a good job executing but I need to finish plays. We didn't have any clock problems but I still get us in and out of the huddles better. But that's going to come with repetitions.''

If Leak's performance rated a C, it was certainly a high C. Long typecast as a guy who has great talent but difficulty making the split-second decisions, he showed remarkable poise on this day. He completed 12 of 18 passes for 133 yards and generally ran the offense smoothly.

Showing humility, as well as skill, Leak praised his supporting cast, particularly the running backs. Jabari Davis gained 39 yards on nine carries, Gerald Riggs 29 yards on 11 tries. Asked how much pressure that kind of production from the ground game relieves from him, Leak smiled.

''A ton of pressure, man,'' he said. ''With the line we've got and the backs we've got, no matter what they (defenders) are in, we can just line up and say, 'See if you can stop us.' ''

Leak also praised his wideouts. Jomo Fagan dropped two balls but caught four for 33 yards. Derrick Tinsley led all receivers with four catches for 37 yards. Tony Brown added three grabs for 44 yards. Tight end Victor McClure, believe it or not, caught three balls for 25 yards. Jayson Swain had two catches for 41 yards, including a 32-yard TD grab. C.J. Fayton had two catches for 20 yards, Bill Grimes one for 20 and Chris Hannon one for 16.

''With the receivers we've got, you've got to respect 'em,'' he said. ''We've got all the tools in place. If we go out and execute, we'll be OK.''

Leak said his pre-scrimmage instructions from the coaches were quite simple.

''Just be efficient,'' he said. ''Take care of the ball, take care of the team, get us into the right play and run the team. That's all I need to do. As much ability as we have all around, all I've got to do is play up to my capabilities.''

No. 2 quarterback Rick Clausen had his moments, completing 12 of 20 passes for 119 yards. His throws included the 32-yard TD pass to Swain.


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