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Florida Football

State of the Quarterbacks: Trask primed for stardom

July 10, 2020
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Though college football is in a state of flux due to the pandemic, preparations for the 2020 season must go on.

Since they are currently unable to work out with the Florida coaching staff, for the Gators’ three scholarship quarterbacks and two 2021 commitments, that means returning and training with their personal coaches that have worked with them over the years.

In this five-part series, Inside The Gators caught up with each of the five quarterbacks’ personal coaches to discuss their off-season work, what they expect from their pupils this season, their outlooks for the future, and more.

We conclude today with Kyle Trask.

*****

Everything’s different now for Kyle Trask.

At this time last year, Trask had thrown 22 career passes with one touchdown. He was preparing for a tight battle in fall camp – to be the backup quarterback.

Of course, he was rushed into duty following Feleipe Franks’ horrific ankle injury and orchestrated an incredible come from behind victory over Kentucky. He enters the 2020 season as a likely preseason All-SEC selection with buzz about him possibly being a dark horse Heisman Trophy contender.

The experience he gained last year has helped him greatly as he prepares for his first season-opener as a starter since his freshman year of high school, said Brian Thiebaud, an instructor for TXQB Quarterback Training who worked with Trask earlier this year.

“I think the game slows down,” Thiebaud said. “I think he has a whole year of decisions that he’s made, throws that he made. Every quarterback’s going to turn on the video and see things that they would’ve done differently or maybe they would’ve handled in a different situation or whatever. So, I think you learn a lot from that.

“Kyle’s mindset is he’s a worker. He’s going to do the work, he’s going to put in the time, he’s very passionate about what he does and loves what he does. He’s a great teammate. He feels a sense of responsibility for him to fulfill his role and to do his job.”

Thiebaud first met Trask at a summer football camp between Trask’s sophomore and junior years of high school. He was excited about what he saw in him, talked to his parents, and began working with him shortly thereafter.

He’s seen a lot of growth in Trask from his days at Manvel High School until now, he said.

“He’s continued to develop as a passer and throwing the football,” he said. “I think a lot of things he has done have been things that he’s just naturally gifted in, and I think he’s improved those over the course of time as he’s worked on it. Just being the most efficient with his mechanics and getting more and more zip on the ball and the things that come with working on those things.”

Trask returned home to Texas during spring break in early March and worked out with Thiebaud in Austin. After COVID-19 forced the cancelation of spring practice and temporarily put UF’s facilities on lockdown, Trask trained with him again in mid-May or early June, Thiebaud said. However, because Austin is about three hours away from Manvel, they were only able to work together twice. Trask found another quarterback trainer in nearby Houston to supplement Thiebaud’s tutelage.

Despite missing out on the 14 spring practices and the Orange and Blue Game, Trask didn’t exhibit any signs of rust when he reunited with Thiebaud. Thiebaud was impressed with the way he threw the ball.

“I think he’s got a really pure throwing motion,” he said. “I think the ball really jumps out of his hand, comes out of his hand really nice, throws a really pretty ball. He’s got a lot of control on the ball. I think he throws a really catchable ball, is able to throw with a lot of accuracy.”

One of the biggest areas of focus for Trask this offseason is his footwork, Thiebaud said. Trask thought his base started getting a little too wide during the middle part of the season, which caused him to lose some velocity on his throws. He went through some drills with Thiebaud to tighten up his footwork and keep a similar slippage from happening this season. Thiebaud said Trask is throwing with a little more zip now that his footwork has been cleaned up.

Thiebaud said it’s important to note that he’s not competing with UF’s coaches or trying to take anyone’s job. A lot of the fundamentals and mechanics he teaches are universally taught by all coaches and don’t vary depending on offensive schemes. On the rare occasions that there is a conflict between what he teaches and what UF’s coaches teach, what Trask is taught by his college coaches takes priority.

“I think [working with a private quarterback coach] gives you just another resource,” Thiebaud said. “It gives you opportunities to work with somebody that is not tied to the number of hours of the day or when and where they can work with somebody. It just gives them a little bit more freedom, maybe gives them a different perspective about things related to the way that they throw and ways they can improve their ball.”

STATE OF THE QUARTERBACKS

As the season hopefully draws near, Trask was back on campus going through voluntary workouts with his teammates as of a couple of weeks ago, Thiebaud said. The two haven’t spoken since then.

The 2020 season will be an entirely new experience for Trask. He’s no longer the lovable underdog who fans want to see get a chance. Instead, he’ll have the eyes of the nation on him and the weight of Gator Nation’s expectations on his right arm. Everything he does will be scrutinized, fairly or unfairly.

Thiebaud believes Trask is ready for the challenge and that he has a bright future ahead of him.

“I think it’s a big year for him, and I think he’s got the stature, he’s plays at an elite program, he’s had success in the toughest conference, throws a really nice ball,” he said. “I think he’s got a lot of things that are working in his favor, and experiences that he’s already had, I think, is going to give him an opportunity to have a really big year. I think he’s a guy that could definitely translate to the next level, and this is a big year for him to continue to grow and develop and learn from things that he did last year.

“[Last] season, he got a ton of experience and the confidence that comes with that experience in playing really just kind of took him to a new place, and I think you can see that just in his demeanor and how he carries himself now that he’s got a year under his belt. I think he’s just going to take off from here.”

State of the Quarterbacks: Trask primed for stardom

2,106 Views | 5 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by Ethan Hughes
Go Gators TJ
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They worked on his footwork but did they work on his speed?

He needs to get faster to really be able to run our offense.
Ethan Hughes
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Go Gators TJ said:

They worked on his footwork but did they work on his speed?

He needs to get faster to really be able to run our offense.
I asked him about that specifically. He said as far as he knows, Trask is just working on his foot speed as it relates to moving around in the pocket to throw. I don't think there's much he can do to improve running speed at this point. He is who he is.
UFgator52-20
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He isn't primed for stardom. Does Trask or his family have to pay for these sessions? That is the only reason the trainer would say that.

Fields and Lawrence are primed for stardom. Task isn't in their league.
Graylon
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To me it all depends on how Dan uses Trask... if Dan tries that run the quarterback crap then no... But if dan let's him throw the ball then anything is possible... if our offensive line doesnt come together we can forget about anything
Ethan Hughes
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Staff
UFgator52-20 said:

He isn't primed for stardom. Does Trask or his family have to pay for these sessions? That is the only reason the trainer would say that.

Fields and Lawrence are primed for stardom. Task isn't in their league.
It depends on how you define stardom. Is he a likely Heisman contender or future All-Pro? No, but being perhaps the best QB in the SEC certainly counts as stardom in my book.
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