FOOTBALL: Pre-season position breakdown - QBs

GatorCountry.com
Posted Jul 7, 2004


Here is the first part of a pre-season series with my take on each position. These are my opinions, of course formed with a bit of inside information, nevertheless they are just my opinions. I'm going to start with quarterbacks...

1. Chris Leak (6-1, 205) - Everyone's freshman phenomenon, should be exponentially more impressive in his sophomore campaign. The amount of knowledge Chris Leak soaked up in his freshman year to do the things he did was just plain remarkable. Leak came to the University of Florida with a right arm that can really throw the ball far and accurately. His passes are easy to catch as he seems to release the ball in a way that makes it almost impossible to drop. Most do not realize that when he first got here, Chris was really lacking in some of the fundamentals of just handing the ball off. That came as a by-product of being in an all passing system in high school. If you could compare the film from the first week of practice until today, you would be astonished to see the difference. Of course that step in the learning process leads to making a much better fake in the play action game. The play action will certainly be more of a staple in our passing game this year and a lot of it has to do with Chris' growth at the quarterback position. Who deserves the credit for his rise? The coaches deserve some, but Chris has applied himself to a practice regimen that allows him to continually get better at a pace different from most others. That regimen is what truly separates himself from others. I am not going to come on here and say that he will throw X number of touchdowns and Y number of interceptions because for that he has to rely on others. However, with Chris Leak, you know you will get every bit of his essence on every play.

Something to look forward to: The day that Leak can walk to the line and call every play in a drive all the way down the field, is a day opponents will wish they hadn't seen.

2. Justin Midgett (6-3, 180)- Justin has every physical tool in his arsenal. He can throw a frozen rope for 30 or more yards. He can move in the pocket and has excellent athletic ability. Justin is tall and looks like the prototypical NFL Quarterback. What does he lack? He lacks detail. By that I mean he is more prone to making mistakes due to the speed he has to perform. To be given a set play, have time to think about it, and look over the defense to see what they're giving is going to be a bit of a rare commodity with the increasingly up-tempo offense the Gators want to use this season. Of course, experience will be the biggest benefit to Justin when he gets it. In the Orange and Blue game, we saw a glimpse of what he is capable of doing. He has made a point of often visiting the film room in the off-season to make himself better. What he gets out of repetitions in practice and when he gets into the games can make as good a quarterback as any.

Something to look forward to: Justin is fiery and competitive. He really wants to play and that desire to do so will make him better and the one in front of him too. I think when his time comes, Justin will shine.

3. Gavin Dickey (5-10, 195)- I really thought Gavin Dickey was going to be the heir apparent to Rex Grossman when Rex finally left for the NFL. Gavin has some amazing physical tools and can throw the ball pretty well. He is fun to watch on the field when being chased. During many practices he would taunt some of the fastest guys on defense as he turned the corner on a broken play. He is also one of the team leaders and is as well liked as anyone on the team. He has a glowing personality and is an asset whether on the field or not. He can throw it just about as far as anyone, but doesn't have quite the touch as the others. He has a pretty good grasp of the offense, but that tailed off a bit when he was playing with the baseball team in the Spring. Coming into his third season, I wouldn't be surprised to see him running a specialized part of the offense. Otis80's (on the message boards) option package was made for an athletic quarterback like Gavin. Let him get in there at 1st and Goal at the 5 and see what he can do with the ball in his hands. You could see something magical unfold as a result.

Maybe something to look forward to: The option package would be a nice wrinkle to throw off the opposing defenses. Gavin's skills are utilized to their greatest when he is on the move.

4. Cornelius Ingram (6-4, 195)- Gators fans that follow recruiting want to make this guy switch positions. I just don't see it. Cornelius is tall, fluid, and athletic. He has a strong arm and has a really nice touch on the ball. I've seen him make passes on film that looked like handoffs they were so easy to catch. I have seen him make perfect throws on the run. Now I will say he doesn't do all of that as often as the people in front of him on the depth chart, nonetheless in my eyes, Ingram is suited to be a quarterback. One thing I would like to see done is have him in a few select plays as a receiver. His athletic ability sure would allow him to be a nice receiver, but I think a QB can learn the offense by playing a bit role at another position.

What to look forward to: The future. This guy plays 2 sports and plays them both well. He needs to sit and learn, work on a few mechanics and when he gets his turn show the world what he is capable of doing. He can be special.

5. Matt Kynes (6-2, 202)- The clipboard guy. Gators fans may not know the name, but I do. Matt came here as a Gator fan and has stuck to his backup role admirably. He helped me numerous times in a crunch when I wasn't able to pick up or hear the offensive play calls (maybe those are the ones Fedora called?!). While he may not have the physical tools of the other QB's on the roster, Matt certainly has put in his time in the film room and other study to learn the offense. He is no slouch at thowing the ball, either. I don't look for him to ever start here at UF, but the team needs players like Matt Kynes to succeed.

What to look forward to: Matt is a good one. He is very valuable in leading the scout team offense against the starting defense for preparation against the upcoming opponent.

(Photos courtesy of and copyrighted by UF Sports Information)


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