Although he took over in a tough situation, with virtually no coaching experience, new Florida wide receivers coach Chris Leak has quickly earned the respect of the Gator wide receivers.
“Chris Leak, he’s very passionate about the game, you can tell he loves the game,” senior Quinton Dunbar said. “ He goes that extra effort to make sure guys are OK and guys are in the perfect place to make plays. I feel like he’s going to be a good coach.”
Leak, the former UF quarterback great who led the Gators to the national title in 2006, was supposed to be a graduate assistant on Will Muschamp’s staff this season. But that all changed when receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Joker Phillips resigned unexpectedly earlier this summer, citing personal reasons. On the same day Phillips resigned, Muschamp elevated Leak to receivers coach.
Leak is now coaching a wide receiver group that seems greatly improved (and deeper) than a year ago.
“Leak is a little more proactive. Coach Joke was a very laid back kind of guy. Leak is more of a run around guy,” sophomore wide receiver Ahmad Fulwood said. “If he could, he would run the route for you or rather with you. He’s more of a step-for-step kind of coach. He’s going to be with you every step you take, every rep you take. He’s doing a good job.”
Although he’s coaching receivers, the quarterback in Leak comes out sometimes in practice, Fulwood said.
“When we don’t have a quarterback he’ll definitely throw it to us,” Fulwood said. “He prides himself on still being able to throw a spiral. You can’t let him get back into his old days. He might go out there and steal some reps from Jeff (Driskel) every now and then if he could.”
Fulwood said it’s kind of cool catching passes from a guy who won a national championship at Florida.
“You have a champion throwing you balls, telling us what it takes to win (a national championship),” he said. “It’s very important to us. One of the things that he implemented to us is that we have to go attack the ball. Ever since he showed us tape of what it takes to win championships, we’ve been doing it lately.”