Florida football: Kyle Trask and Emory Jones will both see action for No. 9 Gators

By Adam Silverstein
September 15, 2019
Florida football: Kyle Trask and Emory Jones will both see action for No. 9 Gators

Image Credit: Tim Casey / UAA Communications

With redshirt junior Feleipe Franks out for the rest of the 2019 season with a dislocated ankle, the focus has turned to his classmate, Kyle Trask, and the come-from-behind, game-winning effort he led the No. 9 Florida Gators (3-0, 1-0 SEC) to against Kentucky on Saturday. But while Trask’s performance was certainly noteworthy, the quarterback rotation — or lack there of — did not go exactly to plan.

Head coach Dan Mullen explained after the game that he was prepared to use a package with redshirt freshman Emory Jones in the second half as part of the team’s normal game plan. When Franks was carted off the field, that plan remained in place. Mullen said he called both quarterbacks over and told them he would roll them both on and off the field.

That never happened.

Instead, the Gators were able to successfully drop back and attack the Wildcats’ young secondary, a unit made even more inexperienced by a pair of targeting penalties that eliminated defensive backs from the game.

Plus, Trask was hot. He ultimately completed 9-of-13 passes for 126 yards, but even before his final stat line, Trask was consistently moving the markers by taking what the defense gave him.

“I can’t tell you how hard it is to do what Kyle did. Not what he did on the field. To prepare yourself,” Mullen said. “… [Imagine] you’re in Kyle’s position. You got to prepare and be ready for every moment and everything they’re going to do and not play. And then you got to do that again the next week. It’s a tribute to him of his mental toughness, his preparedness and being ready for that opportunity.”

Because Trask was rolling, Mullen let him play out the game without inserting Jones as planned in the week prior to kickoff, when reevaluating the game plan during halftime and after Franks was carted off the field.

That does not mean Trask will be the only quarterback lining up behind center in Franks’ stead.

“Moving forward, honestly, we’re going to play both guys moving forward,” Mullen admitted.

Trask has been biding his time at Florida waiting for an opportunity. He was set to step in as starter in the middle of the 2018 season before fracturing his foot in practice, clearing the way for Franks to retake the reins, go on his hot season-ending run and continue to be “the man” for the Gators at he start of the 2019 season.

The former three-star prospect, ranked 2,123 nationally in the 247Sports Composite, has always been a bit of an afterthought. He was not the three- or four-year starter in high school that many college quarterbacks tend to be. He was underrecruited because he lacked film and was the second signal caller in Florida’s Class of 2015 because Franks was so heralded as one of the top prospects at his position nationally.

Jones is nearly the exact opposite. The No. 85 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, the four-star is a dual-threat quarterback who saw limited action last season on purpose in hopes of maintaining his redshirt. Trask may be the quarterback of the moment, but Jones is almost unanimously believed to be the quarterback of the future for the Gators.

No matter their pedigrees or designations, it looks like both will get the opportunity to see action in Week 4 when Florida hosts Tennessee. Though Trask may be listed as the starter on the next depth chart, it will be interesting to see how this unfolds as the season goes on.


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