Alabama’s DeVonta Smith wins Heisman Trophy, beating out UF's Trask

Zach Abolverdi
Gainesville Sun
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Florida quarterback Kyle Trask prepares for the virtual Heisman Trophy ceremony Tuesday from the UF campus.

Kyle Trask’s record-setting season culminated with him being honored Tuesday as one of four Heisman Trophy finalists, though he could not take home college football's most prestigious award. 

Alabama’s DeVonta Smith became the first receiver to win the Heisman since Michigan wide receiver/returner Desmond Howard in 1991. With 737 total points and 61 first-place votes, Trask finished fourth in this year’s voting behind Smith (447, 1,856), Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawerence (222, 1,187) and Alabama quarterback Mac Jones (138, 1,130).

Trask is the fifth finalist in Florida football history, joining Emmitt Smith (1988), Danny Wuerffel (1995, 1996), Rex Grossman (2001), and Tim Tebow (2007, 2008, 2009). UF’s previous three winners are quarterbacks Steve Spurrier (1966), Wuerffel (1996), and Tebow (2007).

Spurrier and Wuerffel joined Gators coach Dan Mullen, Trask and his parents in Gainesville during the Heisman Trophy presentation. 

“Since the first day I stepped on campus, Kyle’s been a guy that every day gave you everything he had,” Mullen said. “He got his opportunity and he took the most of it. It shows what I know for keeping him on the sidelines next to me all that time. 

“But when he got his opportunity, he meant so much to this program and meant so much to this team and had such a special season this year.”

Trask threw for four touchdowns in each of his first six games, an SEC record, and set single-season school records for passing yards (4,283) and touchdowns (43). He became the first quarterback in UF history with three 400-yard passing games in one season (five total) and twice threw for a career-high 474 yards, Florida’s second-best single-game mark.

“The past five years here have been unreal,” said Trask, who declared for the NFL draft last week. “To go from sitting on the sidelines to where I am now, it’s unbelievable. And to have the memories and the friendships I made here, I’ll never forget it.”

After seven years as a backup in high school and college, Trask got his opportunity last season and became the first quarterback to start for the Gators wearing No. 11 since Spurrier. The HBC joined former players and Trask’s coaches, teammates and family members in a video message to Trask before the Heisman ceremony. 

“You were the first quarterback to wear it since I wore it back in the '60’s,” said Spurrier, who had his number retired but made it available again in 1992. “You did that No. 11 proud. So I say congratulations on that, and hopefully that next guy can wear No. 11 as well as you did.”

Because of COVID-19, instead of finalists meeting in New York City alongside past winners in December, the event was held remotely. In Trask's case, UF's first two winners were in the building, Spurrier and Wuerffel, with third winner Tebow interviewing him on ESPN.

Each program with a Heisman Trophy finalist (Alabama, Clemson and Florida) was shipped a Heisman for the winner to hoist after the announcement.

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