News and Tidbits Around the Florida Gators

Tight end Kyle Pitts is garnering preseason accolades. Photo Credit: Alex Shepherd

There has been a recent rush of news and tidbits around the Florida Gators program, as teams gear up for the fall season. It might not look like normal as COVID-19 continues to reshape sports. Nevertheless, preparations for seasons are underway. Here is the latest news relating to Florida Gators sports.

All releases from UAA unless otherwise noted.

Florida and NC State Schedule Home-and-Home

The Gators have added a home-and-home series with North Carolina State to its schedules for the 2026 and 2032 football seasons. The Gators will face the Wolfpack in Raleigh, N.C., in 2026, and UF will host NC State for a non-conference contest in 2032.

The two programs have met 14 times, with the Gators holding a 9-4-1 series advantage. The last matchup between the two schools took place on New Year's Eve at the 1992 Gator Bowl, where Florida earned a 27-10 victory in Jacksonville.

Trask Named to Davey O'Brien Watch List

Gators quarterback Kyle Trask was named to the watch list for the 2020 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award, the Davey O’Brien Foundation announced Tuesday. Trask is one 30 signal-callers nationwide to make the list and one of five SEC quarterbacks, joining Alabama’s Mac Jones, Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond, Georgia’s Jamie Newman and Auburn’s Bo Nix.

The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award is presented annually to the nation’s top college quarterback and is  the oldest and most prestigious national quarterback award.

Trask was one of only 27 FBS quarterbacks to have at least 25 touchdown passes in 2019, while his 156.09 passer rating was the ninth-highest rating for a season in school history and the highest by a Gator since Tebow’s nation-leading 164.2 in 2009.

Regarded as one of the top returning quarterbacks in the SEC, Trask became the first Gator to record three-plus touchdowns passes in consecutive outings against conference opponents after throwing for three at LSU and following it up with a career-high four touchdowns at South Carolina.

Kyle Pitts Named to Bilentnikoff Award Watch List

Gators tight end Kyle Pitts has been named to the Bilentnikoff Award Watch List. This award is actually presented annually to the best receiver in football and Pitts has positioned himself as a pass catching tight end who can be a game changer, making him eligible for both the Bilentnikoff and upcoming Mackey Award Watch List for the nation's best tight end.

Pitts finished 2019 with 54 receptions for 649 yards and five touchdowns. His 649 receiving yards were the second-most by a UF tight end since 1996 and his five touchdowns tied for second in that time span. Meanwhile, his 54 catches tied Antonio Callaway (2016) for the fourth-most by any Gator since the start of 2007.

The leading tight end in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns in the SEC, Pitts also finished the season ranked third nationally among FBS tight ends in receptions and seventh in receiving yards. Additionally, he was one of only nine FBS tight ends since 2015 to finish with over 50 catches, 625-plus receiving yards and five touchdowns in a season.

Two Gators Nominated For NCAA Woman of the Year

Two University of Florida student-athletes – track & field’s Yanis David and volleyball’s Rachael Kramer – are among a distinguished group of female athletes up for the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year Award, as announced by the organization Tuesday afternoon.

David is a two-time NCAA Champion (indoor triple jump & outdoor long jump, both in 2019). She was also crowned Southeastern Conference Champion four times in 2019, collecting titles in the indoor and outdoor long jump, and the indoor and outdoor triple jump. Her four conference crowns made her the second woman in history (Shara Proctor, 2010) to sweep the horizontal jumps at both the SEC Indoor and Outdoor Championships.

Kramer is a three-time AVCA All-American, three-time All-American and a three-time AVCA Southeast All-Region honoree. She is the 13th Gator since 2000 to have earned at least three AVCA All-Region honors.

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