Gators QB Kyle Trask Named Finalist for Manning Award

Zach Goodall

When he stepped onto Kroger Field, down 11 points to the Kentucky Wildcats as Florida's new QB1, not even he could have expected where he'd be three months later.

But here he is, one of the finalists for the annual Manning Award, presented to the top quarterback in the nation following the conclusion of bowl games.

Trask joins LSU QB Joe Burrow, Ohio State's Justin Fields, Georgia's Jake Fromm, Oregon's Justin Herbert, Utah's Tyler Huntley, Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts, Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, Minnesota's Tanner Morgan, Navy's Malcolm Perry, Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa, and Memphis' Brady White as finalists for the award.

Following his replacement of starting quarterback Feleipe Franks, who suffered a dislocated ankle against Kentucky in Week 3, Trask has led the Gators to a 7-2 record, accumulating a completion percentage of 67.6%, 2636 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, and only six interceptions. 

All without any legitimate run game threat, given Florida's run blocking woes. The Gators transitioned into a pass-happy offense within their spread system, and it paid dividends. 

Trask doesn't "wow" you with speed to be a dual-threat or an arm cannon like Franks possesses, but he's been put in a position to take advantage of an abundance of passing game weapons, solid pass protection, and a Dan Mullen offense that has seen production come from all shapes and sizes at the quarterback position.

And when he was given all the tools to succeed, Trask soared. You would never have imagined that he had not started a game at quarterback since playing on the freshman team at Manvel High School in Manvel, Texas.