Two of the smartest members of the Florida Gators – senior wide receiver Trey Burton and redshirt senior offensive lineman Kyle Koehne – are also two of the most important members of the offense…even if neither gets the credit he deserves.
Burton, who has played quarterback, running back and fullback (plus special teams) but has transitioned to wideout while still retaining a role as a wildcat quarterback, was praised this week by his teammates for how integral he is to Florida’s success.
“He can play anywhere,” junior quarterback Jeff Driskel said. “He can play outside. He can play inside. He comes out of the backfield. He knows every position on every pass play so he can really help out everyone else, too.
“He knows where to get in the zones – or when it’s man – whether to pull out of routes, stuff like that. He has sure hands. He’s done that ever since I’ve been here. He’s been a reliable guy ever since he’s been here, so he’s definitely a guy that’s going to get a lot of touches this year.”
Redshirt junior left guard Max Garcia sees Burton as a leader on the offense, a right-hand man of sorts to Driskel who can help sort out things for his teammates.
“He’s all over the field. He has to make sure everybody else that doesn’t know what they’re doing, he gets them lined up and stuff like that. He’s definitely a leader out there, vocal, and we need him out there to direct other people,” Garcia explained.
Burton, who even spent two practices at safety in 2010 before then-offensive coordinator Charlie Weis insisted he be moved back to offense – said he believes all upperclassmen should be able to coach but explained that the way he was taught in high school has led to him looking at the offense from a different perspective.
“I played quarterback and my quarterback coach did a really good job of teaching me – I had to know everybody’s position – and I just basically took that from high school and brought that to college,” he said. “It’s helped me out a lot and it’s helped me get on the field faster than other guys do.”
Koehne can play every position on the offensive line and will see more playing time than he otherwise would have because of his range. He concurred with Burton, noting that some players concentrate solely on their position when learning the offense while others look at the bigger picture.
“It’s all about how you learn the offense. You don’t want to learn it by one specific position. You want to learn the whole offense conceptually. You always want to know what your buddy’s doing next to you,” he explained.
“The whole time I’ve been learning the offense, I’ve been learning what the centers do and the tackles do to understand what I do better. Once you understand the whole offense then it’s really not very difficult.”
Burton credits his ability to always find a role on offense to his positive attitude and being accepting of what the coaching staff wants him to do during any given practice. Kohene said it is exactly why guys like them have been able to play early and often throughout their careers.
“The versatility has gotten me on the field faster than just playing at one spot, so I’ve learned to use it as an advantage of mine. That’s a good thing for me,” he said. “Five years, three offensive systems, I’ve learned over time.”