Drae Harris had the opportunity to chat with former Florida Gator and current 2021 NFL Draft hopeful Kyle Trask about his path to the draft, his skill set, and much more.
Can you talk about what it was like for you growing up and how you wound up at Florida?
I grew up with my mom and my brother in Texas. I was what you’d call a “latchkey” kid, where your mom goes to work early, you have the key to the house. I grew up with just me and my mom in the house in high school. In high school, I got to compete with D’Eriq King. I didn’t really get to start in high school but I still got to compete with him. I think that experience has helped me along the way. I got no offers in high school, then I ultimately got my first offer from Houston Baptist, then Lamar and McNeese State. So I was headed to McNeese State until Florida’s defensive coordinator came to our spring practice to watch our linebacker and saw me throw. Florida then invited me to their two camps. We drove 14 hours both times. During the second camp, I was offered a scholarship.
How did you handle being overlooked in high school and even at UF?
It’s made me who I am today. It’s definitely built my character. The one thing it’s taught me is to never take anything for granted. I’ll continue to work my tail off. Even when I began to start, I kept telling myself that I would not take this for granted. It made me work even harder to stay in that position. So, it gave me a whole new love for the game. Because I was sitting for so long, it made me that much more appreciative.
What is your response to those who question your arm strength and mobility?
Honestly, I don’t know why people question my arm strength. If you watch late in the season, I was playing on an ankle where I couldn’t even walk around during the week. But I’d get it “doctored up” for the game. So, as you watch my tape, I make a lot of big-time throws on seam routes and big shots. You’ll definitely see that I have the arm strength to make all the throws at the next level. About mobility? If you watch all my throws out of the pocket, I had a great completion percentage. I was able to move around in the pocket and buy a few extra seconds and deliver accurate throws. I think if teams really dive into my tape, I’m able to answer those questions.
Should teams be concerned about your injury history?
Absolutely not. I had a Jones fracture in both feet that are fully healed. It’s been over two years and those don’t bother me at all. This season I had a high-ankle sprain. It was pretty minor, but high-ankle sprains can be tricky. During the bowl game, they missed the spot for the injection which complicated things. That was the main reason I didn’t go to the Senior Bowl because I wasn’t 100% healed.
What would you like scouts and others to know about you that isn’t being talked about much?
I don’t really read the reports but I have heard the concerns about the arm strength, which makes me laugh because I think I have really strong arm strength. (Teams) are going to get a competitor. If you look at my story, I’ve had so many opportunities to give up. I’ve had so many hurdles placed in front of me and just kept going. I heard Will Smith say something the other day. He said what makes him so great is that he’s willing to die on a treadmill. Meaning, you may be a better athlete than me or better looking than me, but when we both get on the treadmill, I’m willing to die on that treadmill. That resonated with me. I’m never gonna give up.
You’ve been throwing with Justin Fields and Zach Wilson. Tell me why you’re one of the best quarterbacks in this draft?
If you look at my tape, I can make all the throws. I’m definitely not going to be like a Lamar Jackson, if that’s what you’re looking for, but I’m definitely able to move around in the pocket and buy myself some time. I’m accurate both in and out of the pocket. I’m always going to compete and can deliver accurate balls in any type of weather, regardless of the situation.