Gators grab nominations for major awards

Florida Gators Quarterback Kyle Trask is the fifth player in school history to make the Heisman finalist list.
Florida Gators Quarterback Kyle Trask is the fifth player in school history to make the Heisman finalist list.

Christmas came early for Florida Gators star quarterback Kyle Trask as he became the fifth player in school history to make the Heisman finalist list. He joins Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Alabama’s Mac Jones and Devonta Smith in the final four.

“It is a true honor to be named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy,” Trask said in a statement released by the university. “It just feels surreal to join the list of Gator Greats who have been named finalists for this trophy in the past. I am so thankful to be in this position and without the help of my teammates, coaches and family, none of this would be possible.”

The announcement came Thursday night during ESPN’s 2020 Heisman Trophy Finalists Reveal Show Presented by Nissan. ESPN will also televise the 86th Heisman Trophy ceremony on Jan. 4.

Trask, a redshirt senior, has built a strong Heisman resume in 2020, passing for 4,125 yards and 43 touchdowns—11 more than any other pre-bowl FBS quarterback—in 11 games. Trask, who has rushed for three scores, needs three touchdowns in the Cotton Bowl to become the fourth player in SEC history with 49-plus total touchdowns in a season.

The Heisman Trust began naming finalists in 1982, when Eric Dickerson, John Elway, and eventual winner Herschel Walker formed the top three. Since then Emmitt Smith (1988), Danny Wuerffel (1995, 1996), Rex Grossman (2001), and Tim Tebow (2007, 2008, 2009) have all made the final cut representing the Gators. Florida’s three winners are Steve Spurrier (1966), Wuerffel (1996) and Tebow (2007).

Trask’s Heisman contention is only one of the ways Gators could come away from the 2020 season with a major award.

Trask is one of three finalists—along with Alabama’s Mac Jones and Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence—for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award. He is also one of five finalists for the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose award, given to a Division I offensive player with Texas ties who exhibits “integrity, performance, teamwork, sportsmanship, drive, community, and tenacity; specifically, tenacity to persist and determination to overcome adversity and injury in pursuit of reaching goals.”

One of Trasks favorite targets, Kyle Pitts, is a finalist and the favorite to win the Mackey Award, given to the nation’s top tight tend. Pitts, who has 43 catches for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns this season, also became the first tight end ever to make the shortlist for the Biletnikoff Award, given each year to the most outstanding receiver in college football.

Pitts

On Thursday Pitts, a junior, finished 10th in the Heisman voting—the first time since 1977 a tight end made it into the top 10.

Gator receiver Kadarius Toney also collected a prestigious nomination this week. The Louisville Sports Commission named him one of five finalists for the Paul Hornung Award, given to the most versatile player in major college football. Toney has averaged 130 total yards per game this season—through receptions, rushes, passing, kick returns, and punt returns.

Fans have one of the 18 votes for the Hornung Award, and voting is open now through Jan. 4.

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