Pitts emerges alongside Trask in UF’s passing game

Florida tight end Kyle Pitts (84) and wide receiver Freddie Swain (16) celebrate a touchdown Saturday against Tennessee at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Matt Pendleton/Correspondent]

Kyle Pitts arrived on campus with an enormous amount of hype, yet lacking polish in several aspects of his game.

The sophomore from Philadelphia, all 6-foot-6 of him, had no shortage of scholarship offers, as his frame and pass-catching abilities often left programs figuratively salivating at the thought of securing his services. 

But it’s one thing to get a highly recruited prospect on campus, and another entirely to utilize them correctly. 

In the case of Pitts and the Gators, Saturday marked a significant step toward the latter. 

Pitts, a former four-star prospect ranked the No. 5 tight end in the 2018 class, hauled in a team-high-tying four receptions for 62 yards in Florida’s 34-3 win over Tennessee, including the tone-setting opening score of the game. 

“We ran the offense today. We spread the ball out to different receivers,” coach Dan Mullen said. “We tried to take what the defense gives us. We have a really good receiving corps.”

On that play, quarterback Kyle Trask found Pitts, his primary read on the play, uncovered over the middle on a slant and delivered a pass that was high even for his long-limbed tight end. 

From there, it was all Florida. 

“It was very critical, just him knowing my steps and I know when he’s going to throw the ball,” Pitts said of his 19-yard touchdown. “I just think it was drawn up perfectly and we executed it. What the defense gave us, we executed.”

Once again, easier said than done, as his score on the opening drive matched Pitts’ touchdown total through his first 14 games. 

With Saturday possibly being a sign of Pitts’ potential in the passing game, it begs the question: is Kyle Trask’s presence the cause of Pitts’ production? 

It’s a query only time will answer, although Pitts did say the two have built a rapport in practice. And with the team behind Trask, and redshirt freshman quarterback Emory Jones, those relationships and reinforcement may be as valuable as ever for Florida’s personnel in the passing game.

“That’s what we’ve done, (worked on) our steps, and I know when he’s throwing and I’ll be on time,” Pitts said of his relationship with Trask. “I just think it all comes with preparation, so during the week we just build him up. When he goes in it’s ‘You got this’.”

If the performances of Pitts and Trask were indicative of where things are headed for the pair, neither will have to hear “you got this” for much longer. 

Coach Mullen and the guys in the press box and all the coaches did a good job of finding plays that we can attack. That was just the play calls – they left the middle open, so we’re just going to attack,” veteran wide receiver Freddie Swain said. “Kyle was a receiver before he played tight end, so I’m very proud of him and excited for him. He’s a big guy who moves like a skill player. I’m just happy for him.”



  1. I can hear it now from Mick Hubert. “Twin receivers out wide to the right. Kyle Pitts on the line near the left hash marks. Kadarius Toney lined up in the back field. Trask walking down the right side of the line changing the play. It’s a direct snap to KT in the wildcat. KT runs to the left, changes direction back to the right. KT sees KT and throws the ball to KT. Kyle is wide open down the middle. Kyle see Kyle and launches it down field to Kyle. Kyle catches it in stride. Kyle’s going score. Kyle’s going to score. Touchdown Gators. Oh My!”

  2. I once read an article a few years back that one biggest differences between the Pro’s and college is in the tight ends. In the pro’s, all the teams have tight ends who can both block and catch whereas in college, there aren’t enough of them with both the size and skilled skill sets to go around to all 100+ schools. Apparently, it’s rare to find big bodies who is athletic enough to run downfield and also have great hands. The few available go the top schools. Looks like we may be one of the few schools with Kyle Pitts.