Doubt Kyle Trask And He'll Work To Prove You Wrong

Photo: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Trask was running neck-and-neck with Mac Jones for the Heisman Trophy until a short string of bad games down the stretch, which began with an upset loss to LSU at home, derailed his chances.

We could blame passing game problems on the severe fog in the contest against the Tigers. But more concerns about Trask’s mobility—the thought that his lower-body mechanics may be affecting him in the deep passing game—among other negative notions began to arise from that point on. Trask has become a prospect many are split on after recording one of the best seasons ever by a quarterback at Florida, and you’ll find him all over the projections on the big board.

But he’ll tell you he’s no stranger to being doubted, and very much gives the impression that he doesn’t pay a lot of attention to the rankings and projections he’s defied in the past. That’s important because a quarterback is nothing if his validation comes from external sources.

Trask wasn’t heavily recruited coming out of high school and had to sit behind starter Feleipe Franks once he got to Gainesville, Flordia. Franks was injured after a tumultuous end to his time as the starter and then Trask ultimately got the reins. The former Gator recently made a statement on Pro Day, weakening the narrative that he’s a statue in the pocket. Trask says that becoming the best version of himself from a physical standpoint was a large part of his offseason improvement.

“I trimmed down about 15 pounds,” he noted. “I took control of my physical health and that led me to be quicker on my feet. I think I showed that today.”

Trask put a lot of work into showing scouts he indeed could move during Wednesday’s drills, despite only recording 54 rushing yards over three years. 

“I think I had solid cone drills,” he said. “I was able to show coaches and scouts during my throwing session that I can make throws outside the pocket and have the ability to escape the pocket and still be able to throw an accurate ball.”

Trask’s high school coach Kirk Martin says he has actually been impressed with Trask’s ability as a runner, especially considering it was something he was hardly asked to do ahead of his college career at Manvel High School. 

“Kyle is a true pro-style quarterback,” Martin said. “He’s done well in Dan Mullen’s offense running with the football. They have some designed quarterback runs for Kyle, and we didn’t demand that of him here, but he’s really blossomed in that.”

Within the Florida offense, Trask has garnered a great deal of respect for his perseverance and who he is as a person. Offensive tackle Stone Forsythe, who has had the job of protecting Trask’s blindside, feels the two essentially came up together, and he’s proud of what his quarterback has accomplished.

“We were friends outside of the building,” Forsythe said. “We early enrolled together. We were both those underdog guys. Kind of these past two years, I feel like our name has been called and we’ve both stepped up to the plate. He’s a great teammate and a great leader. It’s been great spending these past five years with him.”

Wide receiver Trevon Grimes echoed the same sentiment.

“He’s second to none,” Grimes said. “He’s a phenomenal teammate. You can’t find guys quite like him, whether that’s in the weight room, that’s in the meeting room or that’s on the field. He’s a phenomenal player. He’s just born with all of that. You can’t kind of just put that in somebody.”

Despite the fact the year didn’t end the way Trask or the Gators wanted it to, his accomplishments can’t be ignored. For the better part of the season, Trask showed improvement in virtually every area, second in the country in yards per game (356) and setting school records in single-season passing touchdowns (43) and passing yards (4,283) on shortened SEC-only schedule. He also became just the ninth FBS player to throw for at least four touchdowns in seven consecutive games this season.

As Trask prepares to take the next step in less than a month, people like Martin are confident we’ll see the quarterback that was so highly praised and was very much in the conversation for one of the nation’s top honors—not the one who struggled toward the end of an unprecedented season. 

“Kyle’s decision-making, his accuracy, specifically his deep-ball accuracy will all translate to the next level,” Martin said. “He’s waited his turn and he’s made the most of his shot.”

Written By:

Crissy Froyd

Feature Writer

Crissy Froyd is a graduating senior at LSU, also serving as the managing editor of the LSU division of USA TODAY SMG. Crissy has specialized primarily in quarterback analysis and features for the better part of her career and covers the Tennessee Titans in addition to the LSU Tigers.

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