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College football

Leak: I'll stay at Florida

By Times Staff and Wire Reports
Published March 4, 2004

GAINESVILLE - Florida quarterback Chris Leak said Wednesday he intends to play at least two more years with the Gators, putting to rest speculation he might leave school early for the NFL if he has another good season.

In fact, Leak said he's so sure about his decision that he made the ultimate promise: to his mom.

"I'll be here for at least (two more) years," Leak said. "I promised my mother I would get my degree so I have to get that. Momma knows best. I love it here so I plan on being here for three years."

Leak went 6-2 as a freshman last season, the highest winning percentage by any freshman quarterback in the nation. He was The Sporting News SEC Offensive Freshman of the Year and a member of several other freshman All-America teams. He is second in SEC history for a true freshman quarterback in completions (168), yards (2,167) and touchdowns (14).

Leak stopped short of saying he'd stick around in Gainesville for a fourth season. "You never know what's going to happen on down the road," he said.

USF's Mr. Do-It-All

Brian Fisher, South Florida's offensive MVP last season, is adding another position to his resume: running back.

Coach Jim Leavitt said the 5-foot-7 Fisher, who led the team in punt returns, tied for second in receptions and played quarterback, would play running back during spring practice, which begins March 16.

"He's pretty good wherever we put him," Leavitt said. "He's going to take handoffs."

Scott Wolf, who transferred from Georgia Tech last season, has moved from defensive line to tight end.

Defensive end Terrence Royal, who was held out of conditioning drills the past two weeks after he was questioned by campus police about the theft of a computer, has resumed workouts with the team.

"He was put on probation by Student Judicial Services, but he can do everything with us," Leavitt said. "We just held him out until it got resolved. He wasn't charged with anything."

Former offensive lineman Shelly Houston, who was kicked off the team in the fall after an arrest (charges later were dropped), also was questioned by police in the theft of the computer. USF police spokesman Michael Klingebiel said Houston has left school.

BOWDEN CLARIFICATION: FSU coach Bobby Bowden said he was not questioning the rape allegation made by a former female Colorado kicker when he came to the defense of Buffaloes coach Gary Barnett.

Before giving a lecture Monday night at Clemson, where his son Tommy coaches, Bowden was quoted in The (Columbia, S.C.) State: "I don't understand how a young lady can say she was abused, or whatever it was, two years later. At the time, why don't you report it? It seems like you ought to report it right (away). So it makes me say, "Well, did it really happen like that?' I don't know."

Bowden confirmed that's what he said, but said it was not directed at Katie Hnida, who recently told Sports Illustrated she was raped by a Colorado football player in 2000 but was afraid to inform law enforcement.

Bowden said his comments were in reference to other recent allegations regarding Colorado. Three women have sued the university after claiming they were raped by high school recruits or players during or after a 2001 party held near the Boulder, Colo., campus.

FORDHAM: Ed Foley, offensive coordinator and line coach for five seasons, was promoted to head coach. He succeeds Dave Clawson, who resigned to become Richmond's coach.

MIAMI: Randy Shannon will return as defensive coordinator for the Hurricanes despite being offered the same position at North Carolina State, the school said.

- Staff writers Antonya English and Pete Young contributed to this report.

[Last modified March 4, 2004, 01:15:01]


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