Is Signing 2-Star QB Kyle Trask A Good Move For The Florida Gators?
When Jim McElwain was hired to be the head coach of the Florida Gators, the expectation was for him to revamp the offense, much like Urban Meyer did. And, typically to rebuild an offense, the first step is to find a quarterback to lead the team. However, a lot of Florida fans were scratching their heads after it was announced the program had signed 2-star QB Kyle Trask out of Manvel, Texas.
Sure, it's been rough down in Gainesville the past couple seasons, but was it really bad enough that they had to reach all the way down for a 2-star QB? This is a program that regularly seems to pluck four- and five-star recruits on normal basis from the fertile recruiting ground of the state of Florida. So why would the Gators take a chance on Trask?
First off, let's get the notion that the star rating system actually determines a player's skill level out of our heads. That system can give you an idea of what to expect out of a player, but it's never 100% correct. For instance, arguably the best defensive player in the NFL, J.J. Watt, was only rated a 2-star recruit when he originally signed with Central Michigan.
It seems to be a perplexing move at first, but watching film on Trask and taking into account Florida's current situation at the position makes the move a bit more understandable.
At first glance, there's no special skill that pops out at you. However, leading an offense doesn't necessarily demand the strongest of arms or the quickest feet. It instead requires an ability to move the ball, and that appears to be something that Trask can do quite well.
Watching the footage, it's clear to notice that Trask is a true pocket passer. Very rarely leaving the pocket, Trask stands tall with his upright posture, patiently watching the play develop until he finds an open receiver.
Just then as he releases the ball that you can see why the Gators would take a shot on him. Trask consistently hits his receivers time-and-time again, showing the type of accuracy that McElwain covets and demands out of his QBs. I know it is just a highlight film, and there aren't any incomplete passes or interceptions, but looking at his stats, the footage doesn't lie. Through 19 total varsity games, according to MaxPreps, Trask has completed 73% of his passes for 1061 yards, including seven touchdowns.
Trask doesn't possess a cannon for a right arm like most would hope for in a QB competing in the SEC, but his touch and placement make up for it. He has a great feel for his throws, seeming to have a knack for how hard or soft to throw it. Throughout the video there are examples of him either floating a nice deep ball that hits a receiver in stride or throwing a frozen rope into a tight window.
It's no secret that Trask lacks mobility, but the big fellow can move when he has to. Trask has good awareness, staying on his toes in the pocket and can avoid a sack while managing to keep his eyes down the field. But even when the 6-foot-5 QB decides to pull the ball down and run he can be effective. His size makes it harder for opposing defenses to bring him down, and he can execute draws efficiently.
Seeing the headlines of the Florida Gators signing a 2-star QB may be puzzling to most fans and experts at first, as Trask was a relative unknown until his commitment. Heck, Trask has yet to even start in a game for his high school. But his recruitment has really started to heat up over the last few months as smaller schools such as Houston Baptist, McNeese State and Lamar each offered him a scholarship. There's no telling what will happen now that he has impressed the Florida coaching staff enough to make him an offer.
Trask may be rated as a 2-star right now, but it wouldn't be surprising to see him move up to at least a 3-star recruit by the time he finishes up his senior season. Even if he doesn't get bumped up a star, Gator fans should just take this signing for what it is, a pure depth move. Florida currently has two scholarship QBs on its roster in Will Grier and Treon Harris, so adding Trask to the mix as an insurance policy surely doesn't hurt.
Whether Trask lives up to his billing as a 2-star QB or becomes a diamond in the rough remains to be seen, but it certainly doesn't hurt to take a low-risk, high-reward gamble at this point.