Florida Gators Kyle Trask Named Heisman Trophy Finalist; Kyle Pitts Finishes In Top Ten Of Voting

Poster courtesy Gators Football


Trask Named Finalist for the Heisman Trophy

Trask becomes the fifth Heisman finalist in Gators history following record-breaking season

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Finalists for the 2020 Heisman Trophy were announced tonight, and Florida’s Kyle Trask was among the four invitees for the 86th annual Heisman Trophy Ceremony Presented by Nissan, set for Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. with ESPN providing television coverage.

The Heisman Trophy first established a group of finalists in 1982, making Trask the fifth finalist in Gators history, joining Emmitt Smith (1988), Danny Wuerffel (1995, 1996), Rex Grossman (2001), and Tim Tebow (2007, 2008, 2009). Florida’s previous three winners are quarterbacks Steve Spurrier (1966), Wuerffel (1996), and Tebow (2007).

“It is a true honor to be named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. It just feels surreal to join the list of Gator Greats who have been named finalists for this trophy in the past,” Trask said. “I am so thankful to be in this position and without the help of my teammates, coaches and family, none of this would be possible.”

According to the Heisman Trophy’s official website, the number of finalists for the award vary from year to year, with the only requirement being a minimum of three finalists. The site goes on to note, “whether or not more will be invited is determined by how close the fourth-place finisher’s point total is to that of the third-place finisher’s, how close the fifth-place finisher’s is to that of the fourth-place finisher’s and so on.”

Although Shane Matthews finished fifth in the 1991 Heisman Trophy balloting, there were only four finalists that year. Since the award first named finalists in 1982, Matthews is the only Gators player who finished at least seventh in the Heisman Trophy balloting and was not a finalist.

In addition to Trask securing a finalist spot, Florida’s Kyle Pitts was among the top 10 players to receive votes, becoming the first tight end to finish in the top 10 since Norte Dame’s Ken MacAfee in 1977.

Florida’s All-Time Finishes in Heisman Trophy Balloting

  • Steve Spurrier, Quarterback (1965) – 9th

  • Steve Spurrier, Quarterback (1966) – Winner

  • Jimmy DuBose, Fullback (1975) – 6th

  • Wes Chandler, Wide Receiver (1977) – 10th

  • Emmitt Smith, Running Back (1987) – 9th

  • Emmitt Smith, Running Back (1989) – 7th

  • Shane Matthews, Quarterback (1991) – 5th

  • Danny Wuerffel, Quarterback (1995) – 3rd

  • Danny Wuerffel, Quarterback (1996) – Winner

  • Rex Grossman, Quarterback (2001) – 2nd

  • Tim Tebow, Quarterback (2007) – Winner

  • Tim Tebow, Quarterback (2008) – 3rd

  • Tim Tebow, Quarterback (2009) – 5th

  • Kyle Pitts, Tight End (2020) – 10th

By The Numbers – Trask’s Heisman-Worthy Season

46 – Total Touchdowns

  • Nine more than any other FBS player in 2020 prior to bowl games

  • Tied for sixth on the SEC single-season record list

  • With three total touchdowns in the Cotton Bowl, Trask would join LSU’s Joe Burrow (65 in 15 games in 2019), Florida’s Tim Tebow (55 in 13 games in 2007), and Auburn’s Cam Newton (51 in 14 games in 2010) as the only players in SEC history with 49-plus total touchdowns in a season

43 – Passing Touchdowns

  • Eleven more than any other FBS player in 2020 prior to bowl games

  • Tied for third on the SEC single-season record list, trailing only Missouri’s Drew Lock (44 in 13 games in 2017) and LSU’s Joe Burrow (60 in 15 games in 2019)

  • Tied for the eighth-highest total through the first 11 games of a season in FBS history

  • Of the nine quarterbacks in FBS history with 43-plus touchdown passes through 11 games, the only three to accomplish the feat with fewer than 50 attempts per game are: Trask (37.2), Hawaii’s Colt Brennan in 2006 (48 touchdowns, 38.1 attempts per game), and Louisiana Tech’s Tim Rattay in 1998 (44 touchdowns, 45.5 attempts per game)

  • Broke Danny Wuerffel’s school record of 39 from his 12-game 1996 season (although bowl stats were not counted for records prior to 2002, Trask also eclipsed Wuerffel’s bowl-adjusted season total of 42)

4,125 – Passing Yards

  • Led all FBS players by 386 yards

  • Ranks third on the SEC single-season record list, only trailing Kentucky’s Tim Couch (4,275 in 11 games in 1998) and LSU’s Joe Burrow (5,671 in 15 games in 2019)

  • Marks the fifth 4,000-yard passing season in SEC history

  • Broke Rex Grossman’s school record of 3,896 from his 11-game 2001 season (although bowl stats were not included, Trask only needs 20 yards in the Cotton Bowl to break Grossman’s bowl-adjusted total of 4,144)

375 – Passing Yards Per Game

  • Leads the nation and is one of only two FBS quarterbacks averaging at least 340 per game

  • On pace for the third-highest single-season average in SEC history, only behind Kentucky’s Tim Couch (388.6 in 1998) and LSU’s Joe Burrow (378.1 in 2019)

  • On pace to break the school record established by Rex Grossman (354.2 in 2001)

  • If Trask accumulates 441 passing yards in the Cotton Bowl, he will post the 26th season of at least 380.5 passing yards per game in FBS history

186.65 – Passing Efficiency

  • Currently ranks third on the FBS single-season record list (minimum of 30 attempts per game)

  • Ranks fifth in the FBS this season, but first among players averaging at least 30 attempts per game

  • On pace to break Danny Wuerffel’s school record of 178.4 from the 1995 season

69.7 – Completion Percentage

  • Currently ranks fifth on the SEC single-season record list (minimum of 250 completions)

  • Ranks second in the FBS among players with at least 250 completions this season, and ninth overall

  • On pace to break Florida’s single-season school record (minimum of 200 completions) established by Tim Tebow (67.8 percent in 2009)

7 – Games with Four-Plus Passing Touchdowns

  • One of nine FBS players since 2000 with seven such games in a season

  • Broke the single-season school record previously established by Danny Wuerffel (five in 1995 and 1996)

  • Included two games of six passing touchdowns (at Ole Miss, vs. Arkansas), making him one of five SEC players in history with multiple games of six passing touchdowns in a season

5 – 400-Yard Passing Games

  • Leads all FBS players

  • Became the only SEC player since at least the start of 1996 with five 400-yard passing games in a season

  • Broke the single-season school record jointly held by Rex Grossman (two in 2001) and Danny Wuerffel (two in 1996)

  • Included two outings of 474 passing yards (vs. Georgia and LSU), which are tied for second on Florida’s single-game record list


Offensive Coordinator Brian Johnson:

What do you say to those who need convincing Kyle Trask has put together the best season in country by a quarterback?

“I would tell them that I have some oceanfront property in Idaho to sell. I mean, what Kyle has done this season is absolutely remarkable, the amount of information that we put on him and his ability to play at a really consistent level throughout the course of a season has been exceptional. I can’t say enough about just how proud I am of him as a player, but even more so as a person. He’s just a great example for not only for the quarterback room in general, but just our program and how he has worked for his opportunity and made the most of it when he got it. Obviously, we have nothing to do with how people vote or what kind of accolades you get, but from my perspective, he’s been nothing short of amazing all season long.”

Head Coach Dan Mullen:

Make Kyle Trask’s case for awards?

“Make a case, he leads the nation by far in touchdown passes, he leads the nation by far in passing yards. Hard to say anybody’s meant more to their team than Kyle Trask has to our team this year. So I don’t know, I don’t know what criteria people are looking for. If the Heisman Trophy is looking for somebody that is the best player that means the most to their team, most outstanding player in college football, I guess the guy that I think has a double-digit, I mean, double-digit lead in touchdown passes - double digit. Hard to say I think the record last year was set by Joe Burrow with 50 in a season, is that right? That sound about right? Four less game … huh … It was 60? Oh, he still has a long way to go, but Kyle’s played a lot less football game. And to do it all against SEC opponents. But I don’t know, I don’t have a vote for any of those awards. The all-conference team, I don’t know, there’s a bunch of different of all those things that you guys vote for.”

It was coaches …

“Oh, it was coaches? I guess that’s what people think of him. I don’t have a lot of those votes. But I think he’s well deserving. You talk about a guy who didn’t start in a high school game and you look at his career and what he’s been able to do. That’s an unbelievable story. Again, that’s for these people with these different awards to figure out what the award means to them.”

Tight end Kyle Pitts finished 10th in the Heisman Trophy voting, the first tight end since 1977 to finish that high.

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