• Joe Broback

Kyle Trask: Once a backup, now a Heisman contender

It was the talk of 2019. Kyle Trask was known as the backup. Playing behind D'Eriq King, Trask didn't get the attention he deserved mostly because he never got the reps. Teams are wishing they took a look at him closer, and the Florida Gators are glad he chose them. Now, it's time to put the backup narrative to rest and start a new one. Kyle Trask the Heisman Trophy contender.

It might have been against a rebuilding Ole Miss team, but Trask showed that the Gators offense is one that should be feared. Trask threw six touchdown passes on Saturday, tying Joe Burrow for most touchdowns thrown in a conference opener in SEC history.

That's not a list of random players either. If you've paid attention to the SEC, names like Burrow, Tagovailoa, and Manziel ring a bell with fans across the country. Trask just joined them, and showed his improvement from last year to 2020.

One of the biggest questions about Trask's game was his arm strength. He already had great anticipation and patience to let routes develop, but could he make the deep throws? He answered that early and often on Saturday. There appeared to be some extra zip on his passes this weekend, and he coupled that with his usual smart play and great anticipation. At this rate, Florida will be in the running for one of the best offenses in the country, and Trask could insert his name into the best quarterback in the country if this continues.

Kyle Trask was a high floor, low ceiling player last year, but it appears he's kept the high floor and added a higher ceiling. Throwing to other NFL talent will help. Tight end Kyle Pitts will be a first round pick and he showed why.

Trask and Pitts connected eight times for 170 yards and four touchdowns against the Rebels, and it's a combination that defensive coordinators must spend more time watching now. It's tough to rattle Trask, especially when he gets the protection he got this weekend. Throw in the fact that Dan Mullen can scheme to get his playmakers open, and Trask doesn't need much time to throw. Pitts had the big game this weekend, but guys like Kadarius Toney and Trevon Grimes can also go off at any point. That's talent not new for the Gators, but it's their quarterbacks development that's the difference.

The Gators had tons of talent at receiver last year, so this isn't new. Trask was also a solid quarterback last year, but there were limits to his game. He clearly wasn't satisfied with them, and put in work in the offseason. The result was a career game, completing 30 of his 42 passes (71.4%) for 416 yards and six touchdowns. Florida realized quickly that it's important Trask can do that given that the Gators needed all of it to win 51-35 over the Rebels. The offense passed the first test, and it's raises the excitement in Gainsville.

Kyle Trask gave Florida fans a glimpse of what the 2020 offense will look like, and the results were explosive. Dan Mullen's proven that he can coach good offenses, and he's got another one. Led by a veteran quarterback who's improved physically in Trask, the Gators are a factor in the SEC championship conversation, and school records could be in trouble if this rate of production continues.