Florida Gators QB Kyle Trask Feels Improved As a Rusher
Kyle Trask is known more as a traditional pocket passer rather than a threat with his feet.
Possessing a bigger stature, listed at 6-foot-5, 240 pounds on Florida's new roster, Trask doesn't fit the mold of the new-age, dual-threat quarterback: Smaller, nimble on their feet, elusive, and fast. However, he's been working to improve in those departments.
Therefore, Trask cut some weight, shedding 13 pounds from where he was at one point last season, which was over his previously-listed 239 pounds. "I felt a little heavy towards the end of last year," Trask told the media earlier this month. "We had a lot of time to ourselves, and I just tried to take initiative and tried to improve my health in all aspects of my life."
“[Trask's] body has definitely changed. He’s probably about where he was when we first got here," offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson said on Monday.
About a year following Johnson, head coach Dan Mullen and the remainder of the coaching staff's arrival in late 2017, Trask broke his foot in practice while competing for the starting role with incumbent Feleipe Franks, who Trask had replaced after a poor performance halfway through a home Missouri game on November 3rd, 2018. That's when Trask began to put on some extra weight, which he has since burned off this offseason.
That weight loss has Trask feeling lighter on his feet, he says. Could that lead to more usage in the run game?
“Potentially," Trask said on Monday, "If it’s the right situation for something like that then I believe so, but that’s just going to come down to coach Mullen and the coaching staff’s play-calling, and if they believe it’s the right situation for something like that then I feel like I’ll be improved, as far as comparing my running ability to last year.”
When Trask's belief that his rushing ability will be improved was reiterated to Johnson, he first claimed, laughing, "We’re going to turn him into [Baltimore Ravens All-Pro quarterback] Lamar [Jackson], you know?"
Jackson won the NFL MVP award last season, after not only throwing for 3,127 yards and 36 touchdowns, but also rushing for 1,206 yards and seven scores as well. Trask threw for 2,941 yards and 25 touchdowns a year ago, and according to Pro Football Focus, which doesn't factor sacks into rushing yardage but does include scrambles, rushed a total of 33 times for 170 yards (3.9 yards per carry) and four touchdowns in 2019. He also converted 17 first downs.
The comparison was obviously in jest, but Johnson continued to challenge his signal-caller as he continues to become multi-dimensional with the ball in his hands.
"Kyle’s going to be efficient running the ball for us," said Johnson. "Like we always say is he has to be willing and then be a great decision-maker in terms of knowing when to get down, knowing what we need for a first down, and being efficient in the run game. Being able to take what the defense gives you and keep our offense on the field is what we’re looking for.”