Updated: May 1
Kyle and his girlfriend Jade Caraway sealed the new deal with a kiss in Manvel, Texas Saturday night after he was chosen by the Bucs. (Trask Family Photo)
It’s a happy ending to the sweet story of Florida‘s ultimate ‘Next Man Up.’ So far.
Anybody else would have probably been sweating it out for the first 63 picks, but not the Trask family. Kyle is the King of Chill. After all, he waited six years to become a starter.
When I reached out to his dad Friday night before the second round of the NFL Draft, Michael sent me a photo (see below) from Manvel with two words “we’re ready!”
Two hours later Kyle had a job with the World Champion Bucs, playing behind the GOAT Tom Brady. Talk about getting your masters from the master!
”This is the best possible scenario,” texted Kyle’s No. 1 Fan, Fire Rescue Captain Bubba Ennis, who first spotted Trask as a 15-year-old in camp.
Trask is the fifth-highest drafted Gators quarterback, and the eighth in school history. Several others have been picked in the first round -- including Steve Spurrier at No. 3 overall -- but Trask is the first Florida quarterback to be selected in the second round.
“I am just super excited for this opportunity,” Trask said during a zoom call following his selection. “I had some great conversations with a lot of the offensive coaches … they believed in me enough to give me this opportunity and they’re going to get everything I’ve got.”
I always root for the best story. This one has chops.
I’ve never been a huge fan of the NFL draft, because I contend that it’s hyped up as though it were actually a sports event – and there really is no real final result. Just hypotheticals. At the same time, it is about dreams coming true, both for athletes and fans. This time around, I’ve been glued go the TV all week, trying to sort out what Urban is doing in Jax and how many of Dan Mullen’s Gators would be picked.
Gator fans were hoping for the Triple Crown – Kyle Pitts, Kadarius Toney and Trask before the second round ended. They got it — and with a team featuring a dropback offense that fits Trask’s skill set.
Some people, like Kirk Herbstreit, were predicting Trask might be a first-rounder.
Meanwhile, Urban Meyer, as expected, got his man Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick and then followed it up with his Clemson teammate, running back Travis Etienne, with the 25th pick.
Pitts was the highest draft pick of any TE ever, and the first SEC player taken at No. 4 as expected to the Falcons. Projections about Toney were all over the place but he held up and the flash from Eight Mile, Ala. went 20th to the Giants. At the end of the first round, Trask was still waiting for his name to be called, but didn’t hear it.
Girlfriend Jade, Kyle and Dad Michael waiting for a call. (Trask family photo)
Kyle and his family were hunkered down in Manvel, Texas, just South of Houston, at his mom’s home along with his dad, step-mom, brother and maybe a few other relatives or close friends. Maybe they were munching on some of the peanut brittle or fudge that came from the family’s candy business in Rosharon, Texas down the road. And maybe chewing on the candy kept them from chewing on their fingernails. on the other hand, they’re really not nail-biters.
As always, the Trask family took the low-key approach. Like the old joke goes about the sinking of the Titanic: If the Trasks had been aboard, one of them would have likely said, “Don’t worry, they’re just stopping for ice.”
About the most controversial thing Michael Trask said in my brief conversation this week was, “The reports change every day on social media.”
And then he added, calmly: “We all take it in stride. It’s going to work out like it’s supposed to work out. Like Kyle said, ‘The hay’s in the barn.’ It’s up to the teams to pick who they want.” The Bucs wanted Trask; Kyle wanted Tampa Bay.
Stories leading up to Kyle’s draft conjectured that the Steelers coveted him and there speculation that he’d be a perfect drop-back QB in the systems of either Tampa Bay or New England.
What we forget, however, is how very young Kyle Trask is in quarterback years.
“A lot of the quarterbacks have had 40-plus starts,” said the elder Trask, reflecting on the past two years for his son. “You look at Kyle and he’s got, what, 20 or 22? So he’s still a very young quarterback.”
Urban and Tim together again? Maybe! (Tim Casey Photo)
The Trask story fired up Gator fans. And news that Urban Meyer may consider re-uniting with his Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback up social media like New York City’s Christmas Tree. Tim Tebow in teal and black would be a blockbuster story and dream scenario for Gator fans. “Be still my heart,” they’re crying.
According to Kings of Social Media, Tebow “reached out” to Urban and requested a workout, but at a different position.
Late Thursday, Jaguars GM Trent Baalke confirmed it: ''He did come in for a workout several weeks ago or whatever that was,'' Baalke said. ''He worked out as a tight end and that’s the position he’ll be playing. Right now, where it stands, we’re going to get through the draft and our whole focus, quite honestly, has been on the draft. We’ll worry about that when the draft is over.”
At the same time, we keep an eye cast toward the news out of DUUVALL! When the news broke about Tebow’s workout, I pulled out an old column I wrote back in December where I was wishing for the impossible. The headline:
“Maybe it’s a lost cause. But somehow Tim Tebow needs to be a JaGator. Because it’s the right thing to do.”
I went on to write:
“Once in a while something comes along that clicks because it just makes good sense. It’s gonna be a home run! But why does it feel like people in power are reluctant to step to the plate to take the swing?
“I’ve got one: Tim Tebow needs to become part of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Let’s start there and reverse engineer. Batter up!
“Just to be clear, this is not a new idea and it has failed several times before. Usually because Tebow, himself, has shot it down. And I get the reason – he was committed to his TV career, baseball and now his wife and family.
“Times are different now that baseball is out of the way and his former coach is the new czar of the Jaguars who can pretty much call his own shots.
“Before I launch the litany of the reasons why this needs to happen, stop right there! Quit telling me it’s a dead horse and that I should cease beating it. Indeed, it’s a Live Horse! And besides, I don’t believe in cruelty animals.”
Tebow to Jacksonville? Three Gators picked in the first 64? Trask to Tampa?
Maybe all of this is like one of those Jiminy Cricket songs, “When You Wish Upon A Star.” Sometimes it’s fun to make pro football about dreams and not just cold cash and hardcore business. I can get behind that kind of storyline for the NFL Draft. Cue up Jiminy!