The Florida Gators have been in the news recently, likely due to Gators head coach Dan Mullen appearing on the Pat McAfee Show earlier this week, projecting the Gators to go undefeated - a feat the Gators' head coach says he expects from his team every season.
Now, with the season seemingly on the horizon, Fox Sports' "Big Noon Kickoff Show" panel got together to discuss previews for the upcoming season. The panel included Reggie Bush, former Gators head coach Urban Meyer, Rob Stone, Matt Lienart and Joel Klatt.
During the panel, the hosts went through their top-five quarterbacks for the upcoming season, the main "Big Noon" list included quarterback Kyle Trask. While Meyer didn't have Trask in his top-five, including Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Sam Ehlinger, Kedon Slovis and Sam Howell, Meyer did speak highly of Mullen and Trask as a result.
"Kyle Trask, I just believe in Dan Mullen," Meyer said. "I’ve seen what he can do with a returning quarterback. It’s well documented. I put him and Ryan Day as the two best I’ve ever been around. And I just think he's got good people around him (at UF), another year in the system and a very talented quarterback."
Last season, Trask was thrown into the fray following an injury to then-starting quarterback Feleipe franks. Trask performed better than many observers expected, completing 237 out of 376 passes for 2,941 yards, 25 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Trask made waves for his play and looks to build on his success next season.
Meyer would go on to say that having a quarterback returning is probably the most important advantage a team can have, considering football is universally known as a "quarterback's league". This is especially true considering the lack of spring football across the nation.
"If you’re trying to break in a new quarterback without spring football, I don’t want to say it’s impossible, but it’s impossible. That’s going to be very, very hard to do."
Lienart, in particular, was very bullish on Trask with him being listed in the top-five for the Big Noon list along with Lawrence, Fields, Ehlinger, Trask and Bo Nix.
"You talk about Kyle Trask at Florida," Leinart said, "Dan Mullen is a quarterback coach. He’s a fantastic offensive mind. I think Florida’s got a chance to really compete in the SEC this year. And just to get thrust into action last year as a guy who’s been around the program and to play how he did, was phenomenal."
To finish his discussion on Florida, Meyer spoke highly of the team, predicting them, yet again, to reach the college football playoffs. However, one of his surprise players to have a tremendous season was one of his former student-athletes while he was still at Ohio State University as the team's head coach.
Now at Florida, Gators wide receiver Trevon Grimes was described by Meyer as his pick for "household name" by season's end.
"Recognizable or household names correlate right with great teams," Meyer said Wednesday.
"Because there's a lot of great players out there on bad teams you never hear about. They're not on TV, they're just not in the conversation. So I went with Trevon Grimes at Florida. I think Florida is gonna have a heck of a year. If they stay healthy, I'm picking them to be a playoff team. (Grimes) actually played for me at Ohio State. Big, tall, legitimate 10.3 100 meter guy with a returning quarterback, returning coaching staff."
Grimes is slated to become the team's No. 1 receiver next year after the Gators lost all four of their top receivers to the NFL, including Van Jefferson, Freddie Swain, Tyrie Cleveland and Josh Hammond.
With players set and ready to head back to campus on a voluntary basis today, it will begin the track for the Gators to fulfill what, seemingly, many observers are predicting, including their former head coach who won two national titles during his tenure with the team.