Anonymous Player Q&A: Thoughts on Trask, Cox, Lingard and more

Feb 27, 2020 | 1 comment


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This marks the ninth off-season in which Inside the Gators has interviewed an anonymous departing player in order for him to share his thoughts on an array of topics regarding Florida Gators football.

In the past we have conducted these far reaching interviews in late summer. We may still do one or two longer ones this year, but I also wanted to make a change in that I wanted to get some information on returning players and this segment of the off-season regime here before spring practice.

Therefore, over the next couple of weeks we'll be conducting shorter interviews with a couple of anonymous player in order to give our readers a better understanding of what is currently going on and some players they should be on the lookout for this spring.


As an aside, allowing a player to comment anonymously obviously has its benefits and downside. The goal of this feature is to give our readers an honest and freely expressive look at the Florida football team, but we also acknowledge the nature of anonymous comments and the stigma that can come with them.

NOTE: This is a combination of two different players answering these questions

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Who are the real workout warriors on the team that really stand out in the weight room and during conditioning? It is a team of athletes, but which players really have that 'wow' factor?

That’s hard to say because there are a lot of guys who go extremely hard during workouts. Normally what happens is that a couple guys in the senior class always step up early to lead the team how they want in their final season. From what I’ve seen and heard this year it’s guys like Trey Dean, Kyle Trask and Kyree Campbell who are leading everyday by going hard each workout. You really get everything out of each person at a workout because Coach Nick Savage does a great job making the workouts competitive. Everything has a winner and a loser so you see everyone bring their best during those times.

What position battles should Florida fans be paying most attention to this spring?

One group that will be interesting to watch once again is the receivers. With the departure of so many seniors in this group, it will be very interesting to see what guys step up and earn some playing team. There is a lot of young talent in this group, but all of them have some questions. Except for maybe Tre Grimes, none of them are as complete as any of the receivers that graduated, so keep an eye on them. No one coming back is as automatic as Van [Jefferson], Freddie [Swain] or [Josh] Hammond. I think how that effects Kyle [Trask] will be as important as anything that happens this year. Those three he knew were going to be where they were supposed to be and they would hang on to the ball. I don’t know if he has that kind of confidence in any of these receivers yet.

The offensive line struggled in 2019 – What do you think of them heading into spring ball? Is there anyone you expect to step up?

I wouldn’t really say the struggle of the line was any one player’s fault, but more so that we just didn’t have the depth or experience. A lot of young guys had to play for the first time and that’s really hard to do as a freshman in the SEC. Once we can build solid depth around a group of experienced guys, then we will have a solid group. Stone Forsythe is for sure going to be the leader of that group along with Brett Heggie. Stone did a great job playing both sides for us but we really did well with him at right tackle.

You have graduated, but are you still around the team and players? Have you heard anything about the 10 early enrollees?

I haven’t been around the stadium when most of the young guys are there so I haven’t heard a lot. The only name I have heard was Lorenzo Lingard when a coach said that he has been awesome and is working super hard.

What position are you most excited about?

I expect the quarterback position to be the most improved next year. Last year the coaches gave Feleipe [Franks]Kyle [Trask] and Emory [Jones] all first team snaps pretty evenly. This year it will probably just be Trask and Jones getting the most time so we should see more gains from them. Kyle already came in and did an incredible job last year after being behind Franks, this year he should get more time with the starters. If the receivers step up and with him chomping at the bit to come out and prove last year wasn’t a fluke, he should be better. He’s a guy that really invests a lot of his time in the off-season, but the biggest thing with him is he is a doer, but he’s not really vocal about it. I think they are going to get a good idea of how they want to run to run the two quarterback system by the time the season rolls around, if they even want to run two quarterbacks. There is a lot of talent in the group between Trask, Jones and the new freshman, [Anthony] Richardson.

How much time do players spend reading what gets said about them, their teammates and the team on social media?

I was never the one to read something about myself unless someone else gave it to me to read but then again I wasn’t getting a ton of bad things said about me. Guys on the team see the stuff and there are some that enjoy reading the love they get and also love the people who talk bad about them. There are also some guys who don’t even want to read any of it. It just depends on who they are honestly. During the season, if some of the players make a big play, they can’t wait to get back to their locker after the game and see what is being said about them. When you are younger you take the bad things more to heart but when you’ve been around it for a couple of seasons it doesn’t have the same effect as when you are first getting talked about. The veteran player who I saw let it get to him the most CGJ [Chauncey Gardner-Johnson]. Feleipe cared what was posted about him too, but he used it as fuel. 

One question people always have since we haven't seen him – What was Brenton Cox like coming in? How is he as a teammate, what did he look like during practices and workouts? Does he look like a five-star?

Brenton Cox came in ready to work. I remember reading about him coming here on twitter and the next day he was on the field learning the defense. He waited on his waiver the entire season and everyday he came to work with the scout team to give our offense good look. He for sure looks like a “five star”. It will be interesting to see what Coach Nick Savage turns him into come next season.

Going position-by-position, who is someone fans should keep an eye on?

Quarterback Kyle Trask – Kyle already works hard but he’s really going to have to step up as a leader to get this team to rally behind him 100%. Players were drawn to Feleipe [Franks]. He has an outgoing personality that kind of outshines everyone around him. That probably kept Kyle in the background. I would watch to see if he becomes more assertive and talkative. If he does, I believe he will have an incredible season next year.

Running Back Dameon Pierce – DP is a guy with a ton of energy and character. The team loves to be around him because he works hard and has a good time. He broke off some big runs last year so it will be interesting to see what he does with a lot more touches next season.

Wide Receiver Tre Grimes – Tre has all the tools to be a top receiver. He’s going to have to continue to have another great off-season and come out hot right at the start of next season. It is going to be different for him being the #1 receiver. Last year he would draw the other teams third for fourth best cover guy. Next year he will get the first or second best.

Tight End Kyle Pitts – Kyle has already proven himself as one of the top tight ends in the country.  What really impressed about him last year is that he turned it up a notch. He has talent, but he wasn’t able to show it coming out of the shoot. I think the coaches will use him as much as they can next year because he is a guy that can do it all.

Offensive Line Brett Heggie – Brett has faced a couple injuries that set him back in the early part of his career. When he was healthy, he played very well and looked like a solid piece of the offensive line. I expect him to come out strong next season as one of the leaders in that group.

Defensive Line Zach Carter – He is a guy that showed some flashes of what he could do last year. He works hard in the off-season and I know he is a leader in that defensive line room. He has some big shoes to fill but I think he will be able to do just that.

Linebacker Ventrell Miller – With David Reese leaving, Ventrell is going to have to step up as the heart of the defense. He showed last year just how good he could be and I expect him to take the next step as a leader this season.

Cornerback Marco Wilson – Marco faced adversity when he got injured and CJ Henderson stepped into the spotlight. He has battled back. I don’t know if he will stay at Star, but if he goes outside I believe he will be a real threat out at corner next year.

Safety Shawn Davis – Shawn had a really good year last year overall. The coaches have to get on him because he either doesn’t hear the call or doesn’t know his assignment more than some of the other defensive backs. If he is able to learn the entire defense inside and out, then I believe he has the talent to be really good next year.

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