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Kirby

[2023] Our boy, Sir Finn

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FINN LEONARD

QUARTERBACK

"A special talent" - Anonymous NFL Scout

"Utah's new prodigal son. Sir Finn will be one to remember" - UteFanForum

"A very sexy man" - GQ Magazine

"My brother from another mother" - Supposedly Donald Culver

 

2023 by the numbers:

2644 Yards, 16 TD, 14 INT, 54.48% completion, 220.33 Pass YPG, 111.24 QBR

2-10 overall record as a starter.

 

It would be fair to say that Finn Leonard's true freshman year has been a rough ride. He took over the starting duties from full-time scrub James Coulter and there was a feeling around Salt Lake City at the start of the year that the tide was changing. After an opening week win against in-state rivals the Aggies, optimism was high. But it was short lived. The Utes would stumble to a consecutive 2-10 season. If there was one ray of light, it was that they managed to impressively out-duel eventual Conference Championship runner-up @brightfalls and his Wildcats.

 

So how did it look for "our boy" Finn?

 

It's been an up and down year for Leonard, who has shown glimpses of his potential, but has also shown plenty of inexperience. Before you all jump to conclusions and write him off as a doody, realise that his numbers are greatly improved on previous starter Coulter, and bare in mind that Sir Finn only has one receiver that currently knows how to catch the football. That though, is about to change next year.

 

Coach Kirby stopped by the studio to discuss his thoughts on Finn's freshman year and what they have in store for him going forward:

 

"Listen, I love this kid. He's my son. I'm serious, he's basically my blood now, minus the birth certificate. He possesses all of the intangibles that a star quarterback needs to succeed, not just now, but also in the pro's. His work ethic is second to none. It's my job, as the coach, to give him an environment to thrive in.

 

Yes, this year was rough on so many levels. It's a fair statement. But it isn't all on Finn. I switched the scheme up towards the end of the year, was reluctant to change it back, and it just didn't suit his or the teams style offensively. I now know what I must do next year to create a winning culture here, and getting the schemes correct from day dot is my number one priority.

 

If you look at what we've done here recruiting wise over the last season or two, you can see the building blocks we are laying. Next year Finn will have Zain Hyde as a Senior, who by the way is one heck of a talent. He will also have Sophomore receiver Dahntay Hayes, as well as a couple new faces that we have recruited this cycle. I have the utmost faith in Finn Leonard to take this program to the promised land. I'm just a passenger here for the ride, he is the captain of this ship on the field."

 

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Finn Leonard to Coach Kirby on the first day of training camp, 2024.

 

It is also worth baring in mind that the Utes run game was woeful. And we don't just mean bad, we mean SECOND WORST FROM P5 TEAMS (Sorry Kansas and @stormstopper but you guys have the honour of being the worst). Bronson Love should have redshirted, but he didn't, and the team ultimately suffered. Next year we expect to see the team move the ball with more ease, and as every coach knows, if you can pound the rock, the passing game becomes that little bit easier.

 

We are excited to see our team next year. Let's hope we can break the 2-10 curse and start getting the program back to winning ways, but if not, well... we still love you Sir Finn.

 

Sincerely from, your

 

#UTESFAMILY

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I'm curious to see how Bronson Love comes along as Leonard develops. You seem to have the skill positions well cared-for, but now need some thumpers on the lines and in the back 7. Utes looking UP UP UP in 2024...

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