Florida’s star quarterback Kyle Trask officially retired the orange and blue as he put on a Buccaneers hat Friday night.
The powerhouse player left a memorable imprint on the Gators program from the moment he took the reins from Felipe Franks after the starter suffered a dislocated ankle against Kentucky his junior year.
The Texas native didn’t start a single game his last three years of high school, either. In his final year of college, however, he slid into the spotlight.
In a shortened 12-game senior season, Trask threw an astounding 4,283 yards at an impressive 68.9% completion percentage, connecting on 301 of 437 attempts.
The rising star led the nation with 43 touchdown passes, a single-season program record for the university.
Trask threw eight interceptions, three of which came in a Cotton Bowl loss to Oklahoma — his final appearance in a Gator uniform.
In December, Trask became the first Gator since Tim Tebow in 2009 to be named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, an award given to the most outstanding player in college football for the season. He finished fourth in voting behind Alabama’s Mac Jones, Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and eventual champion DeVonta Smith.
Fans of the 6-foot-5 signal-caller quickly grew fond of the “Kyle to Kyle connection,” a play on the bond between Trask and star tight end Kyle Pitts, whom Atlanta drafted fourth overall Thursday.
The Buccaneers’ choice came as a surprise to many, yet to no one simultaneously.
While Tampa holds a human dynamo of a quarterback in Tom Brady and comes off a win from Super Bowl 55, the franchise looked long term as they selected Trask. The Gator will stand back up to Brady and learn from the future hall of famer.
Contact Faith Buckley at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @_faithbuckley
Faith Buckley is a first-year journalism student at UF and The Alligator's swimming and diving beat writer. She is specializing in sports media to one day hopefully work as an NHL commentator.