Updated: Nov 16, 2020
"The Gators have had some great quarterbacks, and I’ve loved them all. If Kyle Trask continues to perform like this, we are watching the greatest quarterback in Gator history.”
What if there were a fourth statue? (Courtesy of PodUp with Matthews)
If Covid-19 stopped college football today, God forbid, based on what we’ve seen so far they’d have to award the Heisman Trophy to Kyle Trask. Don’t tell me about potential and what the other guys can do, or what championships they’ll win, or how high they’ll go in the NFL draft. I’m talking about what we have right here in front of our faces – right now!
These days it’s tough to find anything much to believe in. Our minds have been assaulted and maimed by so much political rhetoric that some can’t distinguish between Pandora and Pandemic. But mine eyes have seen the coming of the next great Florida Gator football player. And now the nation has as well.
Thanks to some kind of divine intervention, The Swamp parted like the Orange and Blue sea so that a national TV audience could witness the magnificence of yet another No. 11. Americans now know Trask is a legitimate superstar work in progress.
Realizing it’s taboo to talk about Heismans in mid-season -- and all that CoachSpeak– I am exercising my right as a stupid media guy and willing to risk the Rat Poison label to go ahead and say it. Just like backup quarterback Anthony Richardson did in his contraband tweet during the game Saturday night: “Aye, I’m not supposed to be on my phone right now, but somebody tell them to go ahead and give Kyle the Heisman Trophy already.”
I’ve seen enough. Six touchdown passes, 28 total (beating Tua Tagovailoa’s record), first SEC quarterback to post those kind of numbers … There is no doubt that if you froze this moment in time, the New York Athletic Club would be forced to Fed Ex that big hunk of copper to Gainesville. And AD Scott Stricklin might ought to consider hunting up that contact information for the statue sculptor.
Over the years since Steve Spurrier played, I’ve voted in the Heisman almost every year, putting a Gator player No. 1 only four times. The other one beside Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel and Tim Tebow was Rex Grossman, who was pretty much screwed and finished second to a tepid Eric Crouch of Nebraska. Today I would be adding a fifth.
About the same time that I tweeted this Saturday night:
“…These are video game numbers (Trask) the likes of which we’ve never seen and may never see again…”
…Lee McGriff of the Gator IMG Radio Network was preparing to say something like this: “I hope Gator fans are fully appreciating the extraordinary play of Kyle Trask every game this season. Kyle is doing this against SEC teams every game. What they’re seeing – the likes of which we may never see again …” (more later on this).
Remember the long dry spell of skill players from 2011 to 2018? So let’s just savor this moment and let that marinate on our football taste buds.
I’ve seen enough. Ballot please!
I realize that I’m going to get shouted down as a heretic and a homer by my journalistic colleagues, but I don’t care. I’ve been voting on the Heisman for the better part of 54 years. And what I’m seeing from Kyle Trask in 2020 is equal in greatness to anything I’ve ever seen. And perhaps statue worthy.
I saw the guile and grit and craftiness of Steve Spurrier, pulling off fourth-quarter rallies, doing whatever it took, including kicking the field goal to win the game against Auburn and win the Heisman with it. I saw it from Florida Field press box with my own eyes.
I saw the courage and precision and durability and deft touch of Danny Wuerffel, his brain wired into Coach Spurrier’s mind like a Spurffel Computer, able to audible at the last second and get the ball to Ike Hilliard or Reidel Anthony or Jacquez Green (or somebody) for a school record 39 touchdown passes in a season. I was there and a saw it.
Remember the toughness and talent of Tim Tebow, The Jump Pass, The Promise, The Braveheart Game in Tallahassee and the dime he dropped on Riley Cooper in the SEC Championship win over Alabama, and of course, his two touchdown passes in the 2008 national title win over Oklahoma, 24-14, and outplaying Heisman winner Sam Bradford?
That night, at a local greasy spoon in Miami Gardens at 2 a.m. over breakfast with my colleagues Franz Beard and Tim Casey we were reflecting on what we had just seen. We all agreed: “Enjoy and relish it, because we might not ever see this kind of thing again.”
Two warrior buddies after the battle: Trask and Franks hug (ESPN TV)
Eleven years later we still haven’t seen it. But maybe again Saturday night we got a tiny glimpse of what greatness looks like, and how it could even grow greater.
Now, Part 2 of what McGriff said, or as Paul Harvey called it, The Rest of the Story:
“The Gators have had some great quarterbacks, and I’ve loved them all. If Kyle Trask continues to perform like this, we are watching the greatest quarterback in Gator history.”
(Follow the Gators at GatorBaitMedia.com)