Here at GatorMaven, we're ringing in the new decade by taking a look at Florida Gators' past: Who were the top three players at each position for Florida over the past decade?
There were plenty of ups and downs within Florida football throughout the 2010s. Two head coaches began their Florida careers with back-to-back bowl game appearances, including Jim McElwain's 2016 SEC Championship appearance.
Both McElwain and his predecessor, Will Muschamp, were relieved of their duties within two years of their initial successes. McElwain survived only seven more games.
However, Florida is ending the decade on a positive note, trending upward with Dan Mullen taking the reins. His 20-5 record in two years, with back-to-back New Year's Six Bowl appearances on his résumé, naturally has Gator fans giddy for the 2020s.
But looking back on the 2010s, who were the top three players at each position for the Gators? Let's start with the quarterbacks.
3. Feleipe Franks (2016-19)
His career at Florida ended in sorrow circumstances, and his career was far from perfect, but Franks belongs in the top three quarterbacks of the 2010s at Florida.
Franks received plenty of criticism for inconsistencies in his game, but statistically speaking, Franks will go down as Florida's leading passer from the decade with 4593 yards, 38 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions. He was also a run game threat, adding 438 yards and eight touchdowns by means of his legs.
His career will most positively be known for his four-game stretch to end the 2018 season under Mullen, where he completed 64.9% of his passes for 862 yards, eight touchdowns, and no interceptions. Florida ended Mullen's first season in charge on a four-game win streak, a Peach Bowl victory over Michigan, and entered the 2019 season with momentum as Franks maintained QB1 status. Until September 14th... more on this later.
2. Will Grier (2014-15)
He only played six games for the Gators, but boy were they a breath of fresh air for Florida after years of questions about the quarterback position when Will Grier took the field.
Grier completed 65.6% of his 160 passes as a redshirt freshman at Florida, taking over the starting role from Treon Harris in Week 2 after completing 16/18 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns on a split-snap basis against New Mexico State.
From there, Grier finished his short-lived Gators career with 1202 passing yards, 10 touchdowns, and only three interceptions. He also added 116 yards and two scores on the ground.
As most know, Grier was suspended for a year after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs in October of that season. Two months later, McElwain announced that Grier had decided to explore his transfer options and leave Florida. He went on to play for West Virginia, and the rest was history.
While Grier's starting career in Gainesville lasted only half of a season, it's hard to argue that he was one of the most talented and exciting QBs to strap up the pads in orange and blue over the past 10 years.
1. Kyle Trask (2016-present)
This was an easy choice. There are opinions that go either way on who should be the starter in 2020 between Kyle Trask and his backup, a prized recruit of Mullen's in Emory Jones, but not a single person can defy the good that Trask did for Florida in the final year of the decade.
He arguably saved Florida's season.
At the University of Kentucky on September 14th, Franks went down with a dislocated ankle - his season, and Florida Gators' career, was over, as he announced his intentions to transfer for his final year of eligibility.
Down 11 points in enemy territory, Trask entered a game for the fifth time in his career, but this time as the undisputed QB1. He went on to complete 9/13 passes for 126 yards, mounting a comeback to give Florida its third victory of the year. And Trask never looked back.
Trask ended his first regular season as a starter with a 7-2 record, an Orange Bowl berth for Florida, and a stat-line of 2636 yards, 24 touchdowns, and only six interceptions while completing 67.6% of his passes.
If you subtract his 40 yards from garbage time against UT-Martin in Week 2, Trask's 2596 yards as Florida's No. 1 QB this year would rank as the 18th most career passing yards in UF history.
It only took him 10 games.