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Gators notebook: Trask doing Joe Burrow things

Robbie Andreu
Gator Sports
Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason compares the Gators to last year's national champion LSU Tigers.

Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason paid quite a tribute to Florida quarterback Kyle Trask on Wednesday, comparing him to LSU great and 2019 Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow.

 “Kyle is a tremendous quarterback who’s got really good command of what he’s doing,” Mason said on the SEC coaches teleconference. "He’s got a big arm. He makes all the throws. But much like Joe Burrow a year ago, you see his ability to get them in and out of plays. You see his ability to understand when pressure is coming and what to do when pressure comes.

 “He has an uncanny ability to slide and shift and still be able to keep his eyes down the field, and that’s what good quarterbacks do. And he’s playing with probably one of the most talented corps of skill guys in the country and he knows how to utilize those guys.

 “Any quarterback who has been in the system, understands the weapons around them and understands how to deploy those weapons, it can put you among the elite in the country, and that’s where Kyle is right now.”

 Mason, whose team faces the Gators in Nashville on Saturday, also compares the Florida offense to last year’s LSU offense that was one of the best in college football history, one that was top heavy with dynamic players at the skill positions.

 “This is a group much like LSU’s team a year ago,” he said. “It’s got enough weapons all the way around to try to make you play the one-on-one game. No matter how good your skill guys are (on defense), no matter how good your zones are, they’re one-on-one beaters and zone busters.

 “You’ve got to play smart and you’ve got to be timely. Their match-ups are all over the place.”

Johnson HC candidate?

 UF coach Dan Mullen mentioned on Twitter earlier this week that Brian Johnson, the Gators’ offensive coordinator, would be a good candidate to replace Will Muschamp as the head coach at South Carolina.

 Mullen said Wednesday that Johnson may be young, but he’s ready to become a head coach.

 “Brian, if you look at what he’s done, he’s obviously a great coach at his position,” Mullen said. “Extremely involved in game planning, ability to be a great play-caller and to design offense.

 “Even though he’s young, he’s really mature for his age. I think he was 17 years old playing in the Fiesta Bowl when he played for me (at Utah). He’s always been a very mature guy. He’s going to be a great head coach one of these days, as soon as someone gives him his opportunity.”

 When Johnson was asked Tuesday about being a possible candidate for the South Carolina job, he answered just like a head coach.

 “All that stuff is really flattering,” he said. “But obviously you’ve got a job to do and our focus is on getting ready to play Vanderbilt and go out there and continue to play well on offense and play at a really high level.”

Mom has a cannon

 Wide receiver Justin Shorter said ever since he started playing football as a little kid, he’s caught at least 100 passes every day except on Sundays. His quarterback has been his mom.

 And she still is. She moved to Gainesville after Shorter transferred from Penn State and spent the summer tossing passes to her son.

 “She would be coming to my dorm like 30 minutes before practice,” Shorter said. “If we were practicing at 4, she came at like 3:25 and we caught like 200 balls and then I’d go to practice.

 “She does (have a good arm). She has a cannon. She can throw it. I love my mom, I love her to death.”