home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


January 4, 2007

Jemalle Cornelius

Chris Leak

Steve Rissler


Q. Gentlemen, if you were the Ohio State defense, how would you defend you guys?
JEMALLE CORNELIUS: I would probably, you know, just blitz, I guess, if I was the defense. No matter who I was playing, I am the type of guy I would be real aggressive and just blitz and play man-to-man coverage.

Q. Would you like to see man-to-man coverage?
JEMALLE CORNELIUS: Definitely as a receiver you look forward to the challenge of man-to-man coverage. That's what it is all about as a receiver. If you can go one-on-one with a DB, most of the time you expect to win and you should win as a receiver. You kind of have got an advantage. You are going forward and they are going backwards. I think definitely you would like to see that as a receiver.

Q. Chris, can you talk about your coach and how much he has influenced you, what your impressions were when got to Florida and how he has helped you along to get to this point?
CHRIS LEAK: I think Coach Meyer has really helped me grow, mature as a quarterback and just everything that goes with them being the leader of your team and getting the guys to play to the best of their ability has really helped me out as far as that.

Q. Chris, can you talk about, there has been some setbacks and maybe negative things have happened, players with losses and the past few years haven't gone the way you wanted to and you come into this game as an underdog. How you can take all of that stuff to work as a positive in this game?
CHRIS LEAK: We are the type of team that we have always stayed hungry throughout the season and for every game. And this is one of those things that we just approach it the same way. We are -- this is where we expected to be in the beginning of the season, and we just feel fortunate, feel very blessed to be here and we are just going to prepare the best we can.

Q. This is for all of you guys. What was the most dramatic change when Coach Meyer arrived? What did he do that changed the culture? What was the most dramatic change for you guys?
CHRIS LEAK: I think he just made all the guys really accountable for one another. He really stressed teamwork and what it takes to be a championship team of guys coming together and working hard in the off-season and growing as a family.
STEVE RISSLER: I think one of the biggest differences between the last coaching staff and Coach Meyer is that they stress family a lot. And we really -- I mean, honestly I didn't really go to my coach's house in the last coaching staff. This time I have been numerous times and hung out with their kids and their -- I know their wife. I think he really stresses family and he prepares you to be not only a good football player but a good person and eventually he wants you to become a good dad. He really stresses that.
JEMALLE CORNELIUS: Yeah, I think pretty much like Rissler said, you have coaches getting into your personal life, visiting you at your house and having you over to their house. You know, just telling us to be a family and he really promoted that and I think a lot of guys bought into it and helped us to be close off the field, doing more activities, going bowling and just hanging out all the time. I think that help us in the close games we had this year because of the trust that we had in each other from opening up and getting close.

Q. This is for Chris and Steve. With such a long lay off between both games and all the practice and preparation time, how do you make the balance to make sure you are not overprepared going into this ball game where you are thinking maybe too much?
CHRIS LEAK: I think you have to keep doing what you do best as an offense and really just try to focus on -- just get everything fundamentally sound and focus on your fundamentals as an offense. That's one of the major things about having a lay off is guys make sure the fundamentals are still where they were at the beginning of the season.
STEVE RISSLER: I really think it helps us out a lot. It gives us an advantage. We have had the game plan in for probably two weeks now, and now we are just going out practicing, trying to execute it. Once it comes game time, we just need to focus on executing the game plan and be able to run the ball and that will set up the pass. It is going to help us out a lot in the end.

Q. Everybody talks about Florida's defensive speed. How do you guys see Ohio State's speed and how they compare to what you have seen before?
CHRIS LEAK: Well, they will definitely be the best team we have faced all year. Main thing we have to do is, we can't be out there worried about speed. We have to worry just about making sure we are communicating the right way and that we have to put guys in position to be successful.

Q. Steve, you talk about closeness and family from the coaching staff. But the guy next to you on the offensive line is a guy you have known way back. You played high school football together. Tell me about your relationship with Drew and how far back do you go? How long have you played together that you know?
STEVE RISSLER: All my high school years, obviously he is a year younger than me. I played baseball with him growing up. We have been real close. He is one of my real good friends. And it is good to have someone like that, you know, on the line. Because if something happens, I can always turn to him. Being the leader on the offensive line, he has helped me out a lot, along with Trautwein. He has done a great job, too. I think it helps us come together. He is always at my house hanging out and I try to have the offensive linemen over all the time.
It helps us become a lot closer.

Q. Chris, from day one you said you came to Florida to play in a national championship game. It took longer than I am sure you wanted to. Brandon Siler said he played this game in his head over 1,000 times. Have you sat back and thought about the game and the way things will move and the outcome?
CHRIS LEAK: I think as a player to prepare for this type game, you have to kind of just go in your mind of what the atmosphere is going to be like, just picture what you have to do as far as going to your assignments. I think that's what you have to do as far as having a big layover and trying to prepare the best you can.

Q. Chris, you came to Florida as a Heisman Trophy candidate. Had a coaching change. Things kind of changed for you. Do you feel like this season determines your college career?
CHRIS LEAK: I think -- I think being able to play for a national title your senior year really is a great thing. I just feel really blessed to be in a situation that the Lord put me in.
I just feel -- it makes me real proud, the seniors of this team, we put a lot of hard work and dedication over these four years and to be in a position we are today is really, really makes you proud all the hard work has paid off.

Q. Chris, talk about Andre as a receiver and when he was injured against Tennessee, he says he didn't know if he would ever play football again. When got back on the field, did you think he would ever be the same player again?
CHRIS LEAK: Just through his spring and through two-a-days, getting my time back with Andre, you can just tell he is a fighter, he is a warrior. Somebody to come back from a broken leg and the way he has been playing throughout the season, that's a lot of credit to him and his work ethic and dedication to help this team get to this position.
I never had any doubt 'cause I knew him through high school, my four years here. There was no doubt in my mind he would be ready to go.

Q. Steve, Coach Mullen talked about the key matchup being their front four against you guys up front. What are your impression of their front four and how tough they will be to match up against?
STEVE RISSLER: Like Chris said, this will be one of the best teams we have faced. There are a lot of great defenses in the SEC that we have faced. And Ohio State, they have, you know, all-American defensive tackle in Pitcock and defensive player of the year. They have some good players in the defense. I think that's going to determine the outcome of the game. Whether or not we can pick up blitzes and block their defensive front. If we give Chris the time to pass the ball, he will make some good plays and I know our receivers will catch it.

Q. Steve, it was talked about at Coach Meyer, is he like a father figure to you, to the team?
STEVE RISSLER: I think so. He has changed a lot of people's lives. He made people that, you know, could have end up know where, you know, probably going to play -- probably play in the NFL. He has really done a lot for this team and he really takes his job seriously, like, I think any head coach would.
But, like I said, he has changed so many guys' lives on the team and for the better and made everybody a better person.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, guys.

End of FastScripts
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297