Daily Football Fix: Trask’s skills up to task of running UF’s offense

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Florida quarterback Kyle Trask scrambles from defensive back C.J. McWilliams (12) while looking for a receiver during Saturday's spring game at Florida Field. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Quick question: If you had to pick, which of Florida’s three quarterbacks seems the most unnatural fit in Dan Mullen’s offense?

I’m going to go ahead and guess Kyle Trask is your answer.

It makes sense.

Feleipe Franks is a big, strong, fast athlete who has shown he can make plays — even big plays — with his legs.

True freshman Emory Jones, the true dual-threat QB on the roster, seems like an almost a perfect fit (and probably will be sometime in the future).

Trask seems a little slow afoot (at least compared to the other two QBs) and less likely to pose a threat running the football. So, he’s somewhat of an awkward fit in Mullen’s spread offense.

At least this seems to be the perception.

But in this case, perception is not reality.

Trask actually has embraced the offense, finds comfort in it, and likes the potential he has running it.

“I feel like I got comfortable with this offense very quickly,” the redshirt sophomore said. “I really like the spread offense. It’s a lot like what I did in high school. I feel like it’s something I’m catching on to and something I’m going to keep working at.”

Trask came out of the spring game saying he needs to keep working on his footwork and accuracy. As for the upside, he said: “I feel like I showed a lot more maturity at the quarterback position. My hard work and determination are getting better every day.”

Trask said he’s fully bought into Mullen and his methods — and his offense, which some might find a bit surprising.

“I had a great first impression of Dan Mullen,” he said. “He came in here and preached relentless effort and I feel like that’s something that we all bought into and will continue to buy into all next season.

“I’m open to having a new coaching staff. And I like having a spread offense. I’m totally bought into what they have.”

Everyone seems to be pointing to Franks as the likely starter on opening day. But don’t be surprised if it’s Trask.

 

71 COMMENTS

  1. And I would not be surprised if it is not Jones by September 1, or at least he plays a lot in game one, along with Trask. But, clearly to me, both Trask and Jones have that “it factor” that Franks has yet to exhibit while playing QB for Florida. If Franks ever gets the “it factor,” (and I am not sure one can just get “it”), he would become a scary (in the positive light) QB in the SEC. He clearly has exceptional physical skills for the position. But I am just not convinced that the game will ever “slow down” enough for Franks to be that kind of QB in the SEC. I hope I am wrong.

    • I would be very surprised if Jones were the starter. Not because he doesn’t have the ability to be, but because Mullen has never started a true freshman QB his entire career going all the way back to being QB coach for Meyer at Utah in 2001. What he is very well known for doing is giving them playing time and experience and easing them in, which is exactly what I think he’ll do with Jones. He even said he thinks Franks’ biggest issues last season were being pushed into the starting lineup before he was ready and losing confidence. He’s definitely not going to allow that to happen to Jones.

    • I’m glad to get Robbie’s take on Trask. I wondered too if he was a risk vis-a-vis his playing time in high school, but actually have come to see him as a rather under-appreciated asset who may just be a star in the rough. Things are looking up….

  2. The winner will be the one with a combination of the following:

    Ability to find the proper receiver or when to use your feet.

    Ability to accurately throw the ball to the correct receiver.

    Good team leadership.

    Ability to run when needed.

    In that order.

  3. It looks to be a one horse race with the proviso Franks improves his vision. Physically he can play the position. He looks blind back there though, and I don’t know if it is his vision/training or his ability to make quick decisions or a combination thereof.But everything I have heard from what Mullen has said seems to be in defense of Franks. Trask may be more ready now but Franks has the most potential. It is the fulfillment of it soon that is his key. It’s his to lose. Given last year’s disaster , though, they can’t be too patient.

  4. Anyone who follows Gator football knows Franks has no pocket awareness. I have sensed he does fine in practice, because he knows he won’t get hammered! Game time reveals he gets easily rattled and panics. Last year, during the UK game, the center could not properly make blocking assignments, and Franks could not help because he could not read the defense. If it had not been for Del Rio, the Gators would not have tweeked a win out. At least Trask knows when to tuck the ball and run. Ultimately, I am going to trust Mullens to decide the QB who starts. If it is Franks, “Houston, we have a problem!” Please though, Robbie, stop trying to sell Gator Nation on Feleipe! We know if Franks starts, it is only because Emory isn’t ready. And, furthermore, we will know year one of Dan Mullens will be mediocre! I am not even sure that there is a decent grad transfer QB that the Gators can pick up. Trask, IMO needs to be given the chance to fail ahead of Franks! Hell, I would play Kadarius Tony ahead of Franks. Frank’s gives us no chance, whereas the others provide Gator Nation with hope. I want to be optimistic, but I will not be if Frank’s is the starter!

    • Just curious, how do you know Trask knows when to tuck and run? Last I checked he only played sparingly in High School and has never played a down in college. If you’re basing it off of practice and scrimmages then you’re kind’ve contradicting yourself. It’s funny cause it wasn’t too long ago that people were screaming just like this for Franks to have his red-shirt removed and put in as the starter. Fact is, just like in 2016 when everyone thought Franks was amazing before he took a snap, no one has a clue how good Trask will be. Claiming you’ll know year one if Mullen will be mediocre or not is pretty ridiculous too. Hell Smart went 8-5 his first season after Richt won 10 games the year before. Would that have been mediocre?

  5. Do you remember the spring game and seeing Trask try to throw the slant? They kept coming back to the play for him to hit it because the WR was wide open and he could not hit him. Too high, too low, behind…it was awful. Yes, he never set his feet one time during those throws. He could throw the out-pass but not a 6 yard slant? WOW! Franks could not do it either! Franks is a deep thrower, only! because that is what he did in high school – throwing it to keith Gavin.

    • I saw Trask it some perfect slants at game speed during the O&B. I have never seen Franks do it. Trask didn’t hit them all but he can improve, he has eyes and a brain fast enough to effectively run the offense. Franks was the MVP for fsu in that debacle of a game, personally responsible for 28 of their 38 points. He is a panic attack waiting to happen. I hope Franks gets on the field in some way, but not as QB. I’ve seen enough to know it isn’t going to happen with him. Of course, the O-line did all they could to get him killed too. Overall thanks goes out to MacElstain and Nussy, the Mutt and Jeff of football coaching.

  6. DrG8r.
    1. It is Mullen, not Mullens.
    2. It is Franks, not Frank’s.
    3. Toney is a slot wide receiver and will never again play QB for the Florida Gators.
    4. How do you know that Trask “knows when to tuck the ball and run?” He has never played a down in a college football game.
    5. If Franks starts, it will be because he earned the start for game one and the other QBs on the roster did not.
    6. Mullen (again, not Mullens) has never coached anything mediocre! He will not this year.
    7. If the Ohio State QB decides to transfer (and not likely he is), then he is more than just a decent grad transfer QB. He would be an outstanding option as a grad transfer. But I do not think Meyer let’s him walk from OSU. Two OSU players transferring and playing the next year for Florida would simply be too much for Meyer’s indigestion.
    8. Franks gave “us a chance” vs. Tennessee. But no chance vs. FSU or Georgia. But he did give “us a chance” in one game. Better than “no chance.”
    9. I am highly optimistic about the upcoming season with Mullen (again, not Mullens) coaching this team along with his staff. And I am also optimistic that Mullen and Johnson will drastically improve the QB play this year with their leadership and coaching skills, regardless of which QB plays this coming year.
    Thank you.

  7. If Frank’s is the qb the gators will have another losing season ! He makes one or two great plays a game the rest of the game he is mediocre.No one is talking about how bad the gators o line is .Montana would have a hard time behind this o line .It will be years before a decent o line can be recruited and it doesn’t look like the gators are setting the world on fire recruting .Foley ruined the program with bad hires and sub par facilities .Next year the gators will be paying millions to 3 head coaches Mullins shark lover boy and Myschump way to go King Jeremy

    • Gern……it is “Mullen” and not “Mullins”. And certainly not “Mullens”. What is wrong with you people? You cannot even spell the last name of the head coach of the football team you follow? Obviously not.

        • Micah. Yes, “damn” me for expecting fans of the University of Florida football team (and especially anyone who earned a degree from UF) to know how to spell the last name of the head football. Shame on me! And shame on all the other people that value education and the proper use of the English language. And why not just shame anyone who has any level of expectation anymore, be it language or basic civil behavior. Or, as it relates to Mikey on here, shame on anyone for not being an internet troll. Heck, let’s just enable and totally accept poor use of language and poor behavior for everyone and condemn anyone who expects better cognitive skill use and better behavior from people on the internet or anywhere in society. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  8. If Frank’s is the qb the gators will have another losing season ! He makes one or two great plays a game the rest of the game he is mediocre.No one is talking about how bad the gators o line is .Montana would have a hard time behind this o line .It will be years before a decent o line can be recruited and it doesn’t look like the gators are setting the world on fire recruting .Foley ruined the program with bad hires and sub par facilities .Next year the gators will be paying millions to 3 head coaches Mullens shark lover boy and Myschump way to go King Jeremy

  9. Franks, obviously, isn’t smart enough to be a QB. It’s clear when you see him in a real game against someone not paid to come lose in Gainesville. It’s clear when he opens his mouth, as seen by his ludicrous comments after the last real game he played in. It’s clear that Mullen hasn’t been able to change the part of Franks that lies above the neck. Franks is so dumb he can’t even execute a trick play in the Spring games because he was more concerned about padding his stats in a meaningless scrimmage.

    • THE TROLL HAS ARRIVED. How many different names today, Mikey?

      PS.

      Florida OL rank statistically last year…….32rd in the nation.
      FSU OL rank statistically last year…….35th in the nation.
      –Source: Football Outsiders.com

      No response to your ignorance yesterday on Dooley’s column about the five things Florida must do that I read.

      • “Ignorance…”? It’s clear you can’t see the forest for the trees when you come up with a stat that claims UF had a better offensive line. As Spurrier said: “Stats are for losers.” The record proves, along with the head to head matchup with the Gators, that FSU had a better offensive line than Florida. Perhaps you didn’t learn that you play to win, not accumulate stats? Saying UF is better than FSU is as silly as your obsession with spelling. It doesn’t mean a hill of beans how proficient someone spells as long as their message is understood. No one is grading posts…perhaps you don’t know that. Arguing that FSU isn’t dominate, in every aspect, over UF is as cogent as the moron that keeps shouting “no collusion”. In both cases, Shakespeare, in Hamlet, put it best. “The lady doth protest too much.”

          • And did FSU beat Alabama game one with that great, 35th ranked, FSU OL? The one that got their great QB killed.

          • And it was not a “stat”. The ranking was based on every play during the entire season, on both passing and running downs. It was based on efficiency. And based on that combination of “stats” and efficiencies, Florida was rated three teams higher, you troll. But rant on. It is what you do.

        • “Arguing that FSU isn’t dominate…”

          D-o-m-i-n-a-t-e: (verb) to have a commanding influence on; exercise control over.

          D-o-m-i-n-a-n-t: (adjective) most important, powerful, or influential.

          Just like a Nole to gloss over obvious stupidity. Glad to see the Tallycarappy diploma being put to good use Mike Winter, aka Black Juju, aka Mike Jones, TheTebowCurse, aka GatorG, aka… ad nauseum.

          Clean-up on Aisle 5 Go Noles!!

  10. LT. Maybe. Maybe not. Mullen and Johnson are clearly much better at coaching up QBs than either McElwain or Nussmeier were. But there is no doubt that the future QB for this program will have a last name of Jones. We are just not sure which first initial will go before “Jones” on the jersey yet.

  11. Tampagator, and everyone else, you all make valid comments. Some of which I agree and some of which I disagree. But all valid nonetheless. The one where I’m sure I differ is in Mullen’s ability to coach. I have never been impressed with the hire. I’m a gator alum and die hard bull gator. But Mullen has to prove himself. His 9 year career at Miss St was an overall record of 7-5 and only 1, only 1 double digit win season. Steve spurrier had 4 straight 11 win seasons at South Carolina. Now that was impressive. But that aside, what is most concerning is his record against Top 25 teams, 7-34. That means he doesn’t know how to win the big games. Maybe that changes at Florida. But please stop crowning him the next Spurrier and next Meyer until he proves at Florida. Spurrier and Meyer are legends at Florida because they won National Championships and SEC championships. That’s how success is measured At UF. Not by record but by championships. Unless Mullen wins an SEC or makes the CFP he’s a failure by UF standards. That’s why McElwain and Muschumps (who had the exact same record in his first two years at SC that Mullen had at Miss St 🤔) got fired. So I want Mullen to succeed as I would want any UF coach to succeed. But his track record as a head coach, not as an OC, but has a head coach pales in comparison to Spurrier and Meyer. So don’t crown him the next great thing yet. None of know what will happen. But based on data, I’m not as optimistic as others. I feel we hired Florida’s version of Butch Jones and Mark richt. I hope I’m wrong and I hope everyone has the opportunity to light me up for being wrong. But reality is, we don’t know until we know. So let’s just wait and see. Sorry for the long reply.

    • You’re right of course, Bobby, and I appreciate your critical thinking. Serious as a heart attack on that, no shit. Fact is, though, most of us “high” on Mullen–particularly with the last 7 years finally behind us–see other attributes in him (and the staff he has assembled). I hope you turn out to be wrong as a left shoe on your opinion, but I would defy anyone to “light you up” for it. After all, it’s just an opinion, and the fact is that none of us really know until we play UT. I’m of the opinion that 8-4 with a good bowl win to make it 9-4 will be the right signal. Anything better would be icing on the cake, getting better each year. Mullen can do it. So, as you say, lets just wait and see.

      • I think a winning record would be a success. Let no one forget that Florida was an eyelash away from being 6-5 last season, but was also, similarly, just as close to being 2-9. Mullen’s
        Mississippi State team last season was 113th in passing offense. It’s not a stretch to say he also had a QB that was light years better than anyone on Florida’s roster. That, combined with Florida’s awful offensive line and the certainty that no defense is going to be the least bit concerned about Florida’s passing attack, means UF will, surprise, struggle on offense again. Added to that, admittedly, dire prediction, is that there’s no reason to believe the defense will be better than last season’s that ranked 69th in scoring. I know there are new coaches, but they can’t take the field. Florida’s defense, I believe, will still be soft in the middle with mediocre linebackers and linemen. They were soft up the middle last year, and that was with Taven Bryan. Khairi Clark has always been mediocre and Luke Ancrum isn’t any better. Slaton doesn’t have the stamina to be counted on. In fact, he should be playing on the other side of the ball where Florida is also very soft.
        I just think, given Florida’s current roster, especially at the most important position, QB, just having a winning record would be cause for celebration.

    • Coaching at Duke, where, like Mullen, he was constantly competing against teams with better talent and facilities, Spurrier’s best season was 8-4, and his teams were never ranked higher than 20. His first year at UF he went 9-2, so when a coach has gotten used to winning with less, they often do better when they have more.

      • Yes, well said, but I think it is even more significant that Mullen was coaching in the SEC West during an incredible period for that division of the conference; much more difficult than Spurrier coaching Duke in the ACC. Think about the teams Mullen had to go against within his own division every year- Alabama, Auburn, LSU, A&M, Ark, Miss State. On paper, MSU should lose to every one of those teams every year. So now he will not only be at a program with more recourses and winning tradition, but he will be coaching against easier competition most of the time.

  12. If we can make it to a bowl in year one it will be an improvement. Most likely it will take two or three years until we see the recruitment start to pay off… I’m thinking 1st year 7-6, 2nd year 8-5 3rd year 10-3, and maybe by the 4th if Dan recruits well enough, we will be 12-2.. I don’t see us winning any national championship for at least 4 years though, especially with UGA recruiting and playing like they are now. They look to be the new Alabama of the east, and will take the crown from Alabama for the next three years or so, mark my word on it! The east will rise up but it will take Florida at least 4 years to rise to the top of it.

    • Well, that’s within the parameters I have, except I think–as Willgator suggested some time ago–that we’ll win a couple that we were supposed to lose. I say (total season) 9-4, 10-3, 11-2…….and then it happens.
      But I like your reasoning, Micah.

  13. Franks was a red shirt freshmen quarterback in the SEC.That is very seldom going to look good. Drew Locke threw 8 TD passes and 10 interceptions his true freshman year in 12 games. The next year he threw 28 TD passes and 10 interceptions. His second year he had experience and a new OC Josh Heupel. Let’s see what Mullen can do.

  14. It is pretty clear that no one knows who will be best at the qb position. Both Franks and Trask suffered from bad coaching last year and Franks had to run for his life, making bad decisions and forcing the ball just to try and make something happen. Jones is s true freshman adjusting to the college game, and the SEC at that. All need time to learn from Mullen and his staff. Whoever the quarterback winds up being will be in better shape than any qb since Tebow. For that we can all be thankful.

    • I’ve been mulling this over all day (“whoever the QB winds up being will be in better shape than any QB since Tebow”).

      I’ve been a little slow on the uptake lately, Ocala…..but I’ve come to the conclusion that you’re absolutely right. Damn good call.

  15. Anyone who has played or been apart of football, knows everything starts up front, no offensive line, no offense. Our QB did not trust his line last year, go back and watch the tape. Look at his feet as soon as he has the ball. Other defensive coaches watch and fed off of Florida’s weaknesses. Tom Brady would have been in big trouble last year wearing the Orange and Blue. Hopefully, the O line makes vast improvements, and I don’t care who the QB is, let’s get first downs and then touchdowns. A couple of first downs consecutive would be an improvement.

  16. I’ve watched Trask and believe me he is a real Quarterback. I would be perfectly comfortable with him starting the season as the QB. Right now it’s a no brainer, Franks needs to have a feel for the position and Jones is a freshman that has no business starting unless the other two get hurt.

  17. To run Mullen’s scheme effectively, the qb must have good field vision and be able to make quick reads. It’s hard to envision Franks in that role. The game seemed to move too fast for him last season. Trask seems quicker. Jones will probably become the starter before the season ends unless Trask shines. Jones just needs a little time to develop.

  18. TampaGator- I guess that you correct spelling, punctuation and grammar because your opinions on football, and everything else for that matter, reveal how clueless you are and correcting others must make you feel smart and superior (for once). Take your self-appointed and pedantic grammar cop gig (as well as your asinine opinions) and camp out on the Tennessee boards (and stay there) where they will give you plenty of material to work with as you shine your badge. We don’t need or want you here.

  19. Mullen’s offense is run heavy. The qb in his system needs to keep the defense off balance with qb runs and 17 to 20 pass attempts a game. The qb, especially in the coming season, will not be throwing the ball around the field the whole game. I think Mullen is a smart enough coach to win games with the talent we have around the qb. Our rb corp will be the stars this year. I look for 2 rbs to gain 800 to 1000 yards and 2 receivers to gain 500 to 800 yards. We will win by focusing on stopping the run and letting our corners lock down on opponents passing games on defense. On offense we will have creative run plays and improved blocking schemes. When the opponent loads the box to stop the run we will use the quick pass to take advantage then return to pounding the running game and grinding out first downs. The qb is obviously still the most important position on the field because he is handling the ball on 95% of the plays, but I think the Gator qb will have success by managing the game and getting the ball to the talent in the easiest way possible.