The Florida Gators are going to find out how quickly Chris Leak adapts to being a position coach. Now that Joker Phillips is out and the former Gators quarterback is in as the new receivers coach, can the former national champion take what he learned on the fly and apply it to his current unit of receivers. The Gators haven’t had a true playmaker on offensive like that since Percy Harvin and Tim Tebow were on the same According to a report from Yahoo! Sports, Phillips was photographed sitting in a restaurant with a recruit during an NCAA official dead period. Yahoo, citing multiple sources, said the photo was turned over to the NCAA by someone with ties to the University of Miami.
The incident could be considered a major violation, which has been a rarity in the last couple of decades. Florida last served NCAA probation in football in 1990, Steve Spurrier's first season, and was banned from a bowl. It was the last time before last fall that the Gators did not appear in a bowl game.
The NCAA does not comment on possible violations.
This is not the first time the Gators have faced these kind of issues.
In 2009, Billy Gonzales ended a five-year run as Florida's wide receivers coach when he reportedly resigned with a sticky note that said, "I'm going to LSU."
Then-Florida head coach Urban Meyer replaced Gonzales with Central Michigan receivers coach Zach Azzanni, who only lasted one season. He was not retained when new head coach Will Muschamp took over for Meyer and assembled his staff in 2011.
Muschamp brought in former Gators standout Aubrey Hill, who coached one season before resigning amid allegations of involvement with improper benefits in his previous coaching job at the University of Miami.
Now, Leak will need to keep cohesion within the unit and take the young talent the team has and make it better.
Quinton Dunbar returns to the team as the leading receiver with 40 receptions. He is part of a unit that includes Ahmad Fullwood, DeMarcus Robinson, Valdez Showers and Chris Thompson – names that do not strike fear in any secondary within the SEC.
In promoting Leak, Muschamp is hoping the former star quarterback is ready to be a full-time assistant coach at the age of 29 and can bring the continuity that has been missing for so long.
Leak inherits a receiving corps largely comprised of talented youngsters who must be developed. Florida has six wide receivers entering their first or second season this fall.
The Gators will need this group come out of the gate ready to improve on last season. While the SEC has five of the top six programs starting the season with a new quarterback, the talent on offense helps those teams make the transition.
Leak will have to do the same thing for the Florida program.