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An Incredible Career for Kyle Trask

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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With Kyle Trask, it's not about how his year ended, rather the history he has added to and the future he has helped shape.

The finish to Kyle Trask's career was a disappointment. He opened the Cotton Bowl with three interceptions, a pick-six included, on Florida's first three drives. It was a strange start for the Heisman Trophy finalist, who had previously thrown just five interceptions all season. In a game where he was without his top four options, Trask, who finished 16-of-28 for 158 yards, never really looked right. Neither did the Gators. That said, one off game doesn't change the legacy for a talent who just completed one of the greatest seasons in SEC history.

With Trask, it's not about how his year ended, rather the history he has added to and the future he has helped shape.

Florida's new single season statistical record holder, Trask has added to a quarterback tradition to which few programs in the country can compare. The names read like historical mileage markers: Steve Spurrier, John Reaves, Kerwin Bell, Shane Matthews, Danny Wuerffel, Rex Grossman, Chris Leak and Tim Tebow, among many others. Trask, fresh off 4,300+ passing yards and 46 total touchdowns, is a proud part of that lineage. On a mosaic of greatness in Gainesville, his individual work is part of a collective work of art.  

Going back generations, the "Gator Standard" is perhaps best displayed under center. Trask has only elevated the status quo.

The memories from this fall are many. In his first start of 2020, Trask threw for 416 yards and six touchdowns against Ole Miss. He went for 474 yards and four scores in a rivalry showdown with Georgia. Then there were six more touchdowns versus Arkansas. Trask was spectacular in the SEC Championship Game, going back-and-forth with Alabama's Mac Jones for 408 yards, three passing scores, a rushing touchdown, 46 points and very nearly an upset to remember. In three matchups with top ten teams, Trask averaged 398 passing yards per game.

Though Florida ultimately lost in a classic in College Station, Trask's performance against Texas A&M was, literally and figuratively, a signature one. He, raised in a family full of Aggie fans, is actually named after Kyle Field. On it, he promptly completed 72% of his passes for 312 yards and four touchdowns. That performance, given the setting and the stage, may have been Trask's true springboard showing. He had the game's attention.   

With Trask leading the way, Florida was a leading part of the national narrative. The Gators spent the season in the top ten, just as Trask spent the year in the Heisman Trophy conversation. Together, the quarterback and his team helped define this college football season. Florida entered the Cotton Bowl with the most prolific passing attack in the nation, a distinction held by 24 yards per game over the second-place finisher and nearly 35 yards more than the next Power Five team. Trask and the Gators were largely unstoppable.

Wednesday night saw Trask share time with Emory Jones, likely Florida's quarterback of the future. It was a passing of the torch of sorts, with the Gators getting a look at next season. Whether Trask scanned the field from the line of scrimmage or observed from the sidelines as he did for much of the second half, he saw it all with a unique perspective.

Trask's story is a remarkable one. A former high school back-up to current Miami signal caller D'Eriq King in Manvel, Texas, Trask took over at Florida in 2019 after a sudden season-ending injury to Feleipe Franks had questions swirling. He responded with 25 passing touchdowns compared to just seven interceptions in his first time as a starter in years. From answer to All-American, Trask developed into one of the best players in the country. After rewriting the record books in college, he is next poised to be a high selection in the upcoming NFL Draft.

On the way to the next level, Trask helped restore Florida's expectations to the highest level.

Counting his first-team play against Kentucky as a junior, Trask went 17-6 for the Gators. Though there were three straight losses to finish his career, Trask and Florida went down swinging; taking on the defending national champions, the top-ranked team in the SEC Championship Game and the second team out of the College Football Playoff in a New Year's Six bowl pairing. The Gators should be among the leading names in college football. Trask, with an Orange Bowl, a Cotton Bowl and a trip to Atlanta, furthered Florida's aspirations. 

The Gators ended their season in the spotlight. Trask will, too, as one of four finalists for the most famous individual award in sports. Heisman or not, he has already made history.

What a career for Kyle Trask. What a senior season. His last last game may not have gone the way many expected. His career, from reserve to one of the greatest players ever at Florida, certainly didn't either.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports