Sporting a blue tie and orange handkerchief, Gators quarterback Kyle Trask learned he was passed up for the 86th Heisman Trophy Tuesday night.
Trask was a finalist despite weeks of uncertainty following consecutive losses to LSU at home and Alabama in the SEC Championship game. He faced Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith, who was ultimately awarded the Heisman. Smith is the first wide receiver to win the award since 1991.
The redshirt senior was Florida’s eighth finalist and would have been Florida’s fourth winner. Previous winners include a trio of quarterbacks: Steve Spurrier in 1966, Danny Wuerffel in 1996 and Tim Tebow in 2007.
Joined by his parents, coach Dan Mullen and teammates, Trask had a brief slideshow detail his journey from the bench to a record-crushing season and his energetic connection with tight end Kyle Pitts.
Gator-to-gator, Tebow also remarked on Trask’s career in Florida. Trask, who recently declared for the 2021 NFL Draft, was a late bloomer. But patience is what led Trask to the cusp of the Heisman.
With a lack of playing time during his high school, Trask didn’t start in any Gator games until former quarterback Feleipe Franks’ season-ending right leg injury in 2019. In 12 games that season, he threw for 2,941 yards and 25 total touchdowns en route to winning the Orange Bowl. He became the full-season starter after Franks’ transfer to Arkansas.
Trask told Tebow he kept his head in the game despite not starting since 2012 because of support from his family and friends, who always had his back.
“Kyle’s just been a guy that, every day, gave you everything he had,” Mullen said. “It shows what I was doing, keeping him on the sidelines,” he later added.
Trask leads the country in touchdown passes (43) and passing yards per game (375). The Manvel, Texas native is the only FBS player with five 400-yard games this season. He’s also the first SEC player and fourth FBS quarterback to throw four or more touchdown passes in each of his first six games this year.
The first-place votes were tallied with 447 for Smith, 222 for Lawrence, 138 for Jones and 61 for Trask.
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