Video: Gators kicker Eddy Pineiro boots 81-yard field goal in practice

Eddy Pineiro #15 of the Florida Gators reacts after kicking a 54-yard field goal during the second half of the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 12, 2016 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

In one tweet, Florida Gators kicker Eddy Pineiro simultaneously went viral and stripped himself of any excuses for ever missing a field goal.

The former soccer star posted a video from Tuesday’s practice of him belting an 81-yard field goal — 17 yards longer than the NFL record, 14 past the NCAA’s historic mark. Granted, it was an uncontested kick, but it happened with pads on, wind blowing and … oh yeah, 81 yards (!) between him and his target.

If any of this sounds vaguely familiar, that’s because Pineiro posted a video of him connecting from 77 yards in December 2015.

For any skeptics out there, Gators coach Jim McElwain said Pineiro’s 81-yard boot was “a real deal.”

“It’s actually something he did back during spring ball,” McElwain said, via SEC Country. “I don’t know why it took so long to get out here, but it was real. All right? So there wasn’t any doctoring up the yard marker or whatever.”

McElwain said he’s more concerned with what Pineiro does on game days, but that’s also a strength of the Miami Sunset High product. He made 21 of 25 field-goal attempts and all three of his tries from 50-plus yards last season, earning second-team All-SEC honors in the process.

The redshirt junior started his collegiate career as a soccer player at ASA Community College. Once he settled on football, he committed to the University of Alabama but decommitted after several months and signed with UF a day later.

Jim McElwain confirms ex-Gators QB Treon Harris is now playing WR

Treon Harris #3 of the Florida Gators attempts a pass during the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Treon Harris #3 of the Florida Gators attempts a pass during the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Former Florida starting quarterback Treon Harris has indeed made the move to wide receiver.

Gators coach Jim McElwain confirmed the position change on Ivan Maisel’s ESPN podcast.

“You’ve got to look at the fit,” McElwain said. “Nothing he did. Guys around him didn’t play great either. So I’ll never put that on a player.”

Florida jumped out to a 6-0 start in 2015, but finished the season 4-4 with Treon Harris under center following the suspension of starter Will Grier. Grier transferred to West Virginia after the season.

It was reported in February that Harris would move to wide receiver this year after struggling in McElwain’s offense. Harris was allowed to return to campus last month for team workouts and classes, but hasn’t been fully reinstated from his January suspension for a student code of conduct violation.

Harris missed all of spring football as the Gators went through practice with four new players at quarterback.

“Everybody has freedom, he doesn’t have to stay there,” McElwain said when asked how Harris handled switching positions. “But at the end of the day, look, we’re in this not here to hurt anybody’s feelings. But at the same time, it is what it is and we’ve got four guys who I’m really proud of. The room is really good and I’m excited about it.”

Zach Abolverdi is the Florida beat writer for SEC Country and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

Gators players pass out coach’s favorite PB&Js around campus

(Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)
(Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

Football players are all on campus right now for summer workouts and summer school. There is a fair amount of down time on largely empty campuses before the fall semester begins.

So the Gators players are giving back to campus in a special way. In a way that honors their coach and his love for an American classic.

Football players Jarrad Davis, David Sharpe and Antonio Riles, Jr. took to campus with a box of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for students to enjoy.

Yes, football is right around the corner. Florida used the PB&J giveaway to promote student tickets. They went all around campus giving away season tickets and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

They made some students do some hilarious things on Snapchat (@floridagators) to get their snacks.

So why peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? They are a well-known favorite snack of coach Jim McElwain.

Earlier this week during his ESPN Car Wash he showed SEC Nation how to make the perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

McElwain and the Gators will be trying to repeat a strong mix as they defend their SEC East title this season.

Video: Florida kicker Eddy Pineiro simulates game situation in unique way

Florida kicker Eddy Pineiro. (UAA Communications)
Florida kicker Eddy Pineiro. (UAA Communications)

Kicking field goals is a high-stress job. And what better way to simulate that experience than to have someone yelling within feet of you as you practice?

That’s what Florida kicker Eddy Pineiro got at the IMG Academy College Camp.

Pineiro enters the season with high expectations, especially considering he was the No. 1 junior college prospect at his position, and because the Gators had such trouble with their kicking game a year ago.

Pineiro lived up to expectations in the spring game, kicking field goals of 56 and 52 yards. However, he also missed two kicks of 50-plus yards. He’s not automatic, but he has the leg, and he’s working hard at his craft. Good for the Gators.

LB Jarrad Davis became face of Florida football at SEC Media Days

Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis speaks to the media at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media days, Monday, July 11, 2016, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis speaks to the media at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media days, Monday, July 11, 2016, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

HOOVER, Ala. — If he wasn’t already, linebacker Jarrad Davis is now the face of Florida football following his appearance at SEC Media Days.

It was in the radio/internet room where he delivered what may be the most thoughtful and impressive comment from any SEC player this week.

Asked about sexual assaults and domestic violence incidents in college football and what his school is doing to address them, Davis gave the two-minute reply a question like that warranted (see below).

He responded with class, genuineness and, most importantly, honesty. Davis tackled the issue with the same passion he brings down ball-carriers with, and his message was a picture-perfect moment for the Florida brand.

Davis, who thanked the media members for their coverage before taking questions, moved the entire room with his answer. His sincerity was a breath of fresh air, and Davis didn’t have to deliver a cliché or the company line to sell his program.

This is a player who is on the Butkus Award watch list for the nation’s best linebacker and the watch list for the Wuerffel Trophy, given to college football’s top community servant.

Gators coach Jim McElwain was asked what it’s like having someone like Davis on his team.

“You saw the guy,” McElwain said. “Well spoken, kind of quiet. But don’t get in a dark alley with him.”

After hearing him speak, there’s a moment where you forget he’s a monster on the field who plays with such violent aggression at his position. named him the No. 1 linebacker to watch in 2016.

But Davis didn’t focus on the praise and recognition in that article. Instead, he paid attention to the criticism by draft analyst Lance Zierlein. He wrote that Davis was an inconsistent tackler because his relentless pursuit causes him to overrun potential tackles.

Instead of dismiss Zierlein’s assessment, Davis went back and watched his film to find the flaws in his game.

“I do miss a lot of tackles because I’m out of control,” Davis said he realized. “A lot of things you do in life have to be about control. Football is no different. This offseason, I’ve been working on having the same speed and mindset to the ball. But once I get to the ball, it’s about controlled bursts and controlled explosion on the ball-carrier.”

His commitment and work ethic has made Davis the unquestioned leader of Florida’s team heading into this season.

“He’s taken that upon himself,” McElwain said. “He’s done a great job at our place with that type of mentality. He’s a guy that has an expectation when he goes out to play really hard. I’m sure glad he chose to come back.”

Davis could have turned pro last year after finishing second on the team with 98 tackles, but he committed to returning for his senior season in his post-game interview at the SEC Championship Game. Davis explained his thought process behind that decision at SEC Media Days, and it was another admirable answer from Florida’s star voice in Hoover.

“The way that we walked out of that locker room at the end of the night was difficult. I walked away wanting more. I don’t think it would have been a good situation for me to leave the University of Florida still wanting more as a Gator. Imagine if I would have been gone this year. I would have been thinking, ‘Dang, I could’ve came back and did it all over again and checked off a mark on my bucket list.’ That’s something I think about every day — I want to go back to Atlanta and win.

“To the team, to the defense, to Gator Nation, I’m ready to give my all. I go to work every day and I say, ‘I’m going to give everything I have.’ I’m going to give away everything I’ve got in the tank. I’m going to give it up for this team and the University of Florida. I don’t feel like you can get better if you don’t try to set a new bar for yourself, and that’s what I try to do. I go in the weight room, in the film room and on the field around my teammates to make us better. I want to bring us closer and push us further.”


Zach Abolverdi is the Florida beat writer for SEC Country and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

Rick Wells relishes role as Jim McElwain’s first Florida commitment

Florida freshmen wide receiver Rick Wells. (Student Sports)
Florida freshmen wide receiver Rick Wells. (Student Sports)

JACKSONVILLE — Like many kids who grow up in Florida, wide receiver Rick Wells always wanted to play for UF.

As a high school recruit, however, he had reservations about joining the football program.

During his sophomore and junior years at Raines High School in Jacksonville, Fla., the Gators had their worst season (4-8 record) since 1979 and fired former coach Will Muschamp the following year.

In December of 2014, Florida hired Jim McElwain as its next coach.

“That’s when everything changed,” Wells said.

A month later, Wells found himself heavily pursued by McElwain and running backs coach Tim Skipper, his area recruiter. They offered him on Jan. 26.

“I’ll never forget that day,” Wells said. “They just sold me right away. It was just the vibe from coach Skip. Talking to him, he was cool for real. The way he told me they need receivers, I knew it was an opportunity and I took it.”

Wells committed to UF on the spot that day, pledging to McElwain just one month after he taken the job.

“He was our first commit in the class, and that meant so much to us,” McElwain said. “He committed to what our vision was. Then for him to watch it play out, I know he felt great about his decision.”

Wells didn’t know who his position coach would be at the time of his commitment. The Gators had yet to play a game — let alone practice — under McElwain.

“I just had faith in him,” Wells said. “I really thought he would turn around the program and he did. They didn’t win many games before he got there, but they won 10 his first year. It was a big accomplishment.”

Despite his belief in McElwain and satisfaction with the 2015 season, Wells visited some other schools to compare them to the University of Florida. They didn’t.

“Throughout the whole process, I didn’t see anything better than Florida,” Wells said, who officially visited the Gators on the last weekend of the 2016 cycle, one year removed from his commitment.

“On my last trip I sat down with the offensive coordinator (Doug Nussmeier) and he showed me how I fit into his system. He sees me as a goal-line threat and a deep-route threat, just working the cornerbacks and being physical off the line of scrimmage. Me and my parents like what he told me, so it was a done deal.”

On that same weekend, Wells also reunited childhood friend and fellow receiver, Tyrie Cleveland. After four years apart, they will team up at Florida.

Wells has been looking forward to his arrival in Gainesville since signing day.

“That was my favorite moment of the process, signing that paper. I was official,” Wells said. “I can’t wait to join this team. The offense is on the rise. All the quarterbacks look good, the line is blocking better and backs are running hard. I’m just ready to play my part.”

It’s been almost a year and a half since Wells got the ball rolling for McElwain, a distinction he’s happy to have.

“I love the fact that I was his first commit,” Wells said. “Every time I talk to Coach Mac, he tells me I’m the guy that started everything. That’s a great feeling, and I can’t let him down when I get there.”

Zach Abolverdi is the Florida beat writer for SEC Country and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow @ZachAbolverdi

Best- and worst-case scenarios for Florida QB Luke Del Rio in 2016

Florida quarterback Luke Del Rio. (UAA Communications)
Florida quarterback Luke Del Rio. (UAA Communications)

Luke Del Rio is a player who could make or break Florida’s season in 2016.

He plays the most important position in football, quarterback, where the Gators need vast improvement in order to be better offensively. Florida began to find its groove last year with Will Grier under center, but following his suspension, the offense and passing game regressed with Treon Harris.

Harris (indefinite suspension) and Grier (transfer) aren’t with the team now, and the starting job is Del Rio’s to lose after his strong showing in the spring game. However, Del Rio has little playing experience and a lot to prove at quarterback if he gets the nod for the season opener.

Worst-case scenario

Del Rio isn’t the efficient, methodical game manager coaches and fans hope he will be. At 6-foot-1, Del Rio doesn’t posses the ideal height for the position, nor does he have exceptional arm strength. He’s the son of an NFL coach, a student of the game and knows Florida’s playbook like the back of his hand.

But that doesn’t automatically translate to points on the field, especially for a quarterback who’s never dropped back to pass in the SEC. It’s not mop-up duty at Oregon State. The increased level of talent along the defensive line and in the secondary could doom Del Rio, and Florida’s offense isn’t good enough around him to still be productive if he struggles.

Del Rio has to be able to stand in the pocket and deliver throws on a consistent basis. Otherwise, the Gators will turn to graduate transfer Austin Appleby, who had serious turnover issues at Purdue that cost him his job. He also hasn’t played in the SEC and might run into trouble against tougher competition.

Even if Appleby plays well enough to get Florida through the season, this is his last year of eligibility and the Gators would once again have to start from scratch at quarterback in 2017. At that point, they would be relying on a benched Del Rio and three freshmen quarterbacks, assuming Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask redshirt this fall.

Best-case scenario

The Orange & Blue Debut wasn’t a fluke for Luke. The command and comfort he had with the offense carries over into the season, and Del Rio thrives. He completed 10 of his 11 pass attempts in the spring game for 176 yards and two touchdowns. That kind of stat line, with more snaps available in an actual game, could make the Gators very dangerous on offense.

This is Del Rio’s third year playing under offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Doug Nussmeier after spending one season with him at Alabama and another last year when he transferred to Florida. He also has great chemistry with Jim McElwain, who coached Del Rio twice as a prospect in summer camp and offered him his first scholarship. Having that much familiarity with two coaches and their offensive system could be a match made in heaven for Del Rio.

He might also make up for the shortcomings of his game in other areas. His father, Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio, told SEC Country, “I look for a quarterback who’s smart, tough and accurate. (Luke) has those three things and he’s got leadership ability.” Florida coaches and players have backed up that assessment.

McElwain expects Del Rio to not only be as productive as Grier, but “take it farther than that.” If that comes to fruition in 2016, the Gators could potentially have a three-year starter in Del Rio. That would provide much-needed stability at quarterback and give Nussmeier plenty of time to develop Franks, Trask and 2017 commit Jake Allen.

Childhood friends Tyrie Cleveland, Rick Wells will reunite at Florida

Tyrie Cleveland (left) and Rick Wells (right) pictured together in sixth grade and on their official visits to Florida. (Photos courtesy of Cleveland)
Tyrie Cleveland (left) and Rick Wells (right) pictured together in sixth grade and on their official visits to Florida. (Photos courtesy of Cleveland)

Both players still vividly remember the moment.

Tyrie Cleveland and Rick Wells were in eighth grade on their way to Mr. Roundtree’s class when they made a pact.

“I just came out and told him,” Cleveland recalls, “‘Bro, we’re going to play college ball together.’ We agreed to it and said we wouldn’t forget that, and we never did.”

Five years later, after being separated throughout high school by 900 miles, Cleveland and Wells will reunite next month when they enroll at Florida, their dream school while growing up together in Jacksonville.

“We’ve known each other since we were little kids,” Wells said. “We played Pop Warner together, from five years old all the way on up. Then in middle school we played sports together, so we were always tight.”

But Cleveland and his family relocated to Houston during his eighth grade year, splitting up the long-time friends. They briefly lost touch after the move, then reconnected on social media.

“We started keeping in touch on Facebook and Twitter,” Cleveland said. “I followed his high school career and kept up with him to see how he was doing, and he did the same with me.”

The wide receivers soon developed into four-star recruits and started picking up similar offers. But they were waiting on one school in particular.

“My 11th grade year, I committed to Florida as soon as they offered me,” Wells said. “Tyrie still didn’t have an offer yet, but he got it a couple months later. He called me up and goes, ‘Guess what boy, we might have a chance to play together.’ After that it was on.”

Cleveland, however, didn’t immediately jump on board last spring. He was pledged to Texas A&M at the time and de-committed from the Aggies that week.

Houston landed him two months before signing day, but Wells didn’t want to see Cleveland spend another four years in Texas.

“I started pushing Florida to him, sending Gator emojis every day,” Wells said. “I told him he couldn’t pass up this opportunity. Florida was where he always wanted to be. I got him to come on my official with me.”

Florida wide receivers coach Kerry Dixon II (middle) with Tyrie Cleveland (left) and Rick Wells. (Photo courtesy of Cleveland)
Florida wide receivers coach Kerry Dixon II (middle) with Tyrie Cleveland (left) and Rick Wells. (Photo courtesy of Cleveland)

Cleveland and Wells visited UF on the final weekend of the recruiting cycle, bringing back childhood memories of their friendship. Three days later, Cleveland flipped from Houston and signed with the Gators.

Cleveland literally didn’t tell anyone prior to his announcement, including his family members, but he couldn’t fool Wells.

“Oh, I knew,” Wells said with a smile. “He didn’t have to tell me. I know him.”

Cleveland and Wells are expected to upgrade the talent at wide receiver, and Florida coach Jim McElwain is looking forward to their arrival.

(RELATED: Will Tyrie Cleveland be the next great Gators freshman wide receiver?)

“Excited about both of them obviously,” Florida coach Jim McElwain said. “Those two guys were buddies growing up and played together in different leagues. We got see that camaraderie pick right back up when they came on the same visit weekend.

“Those are two size guys. They have the physical size and speed, the ability to play the position in the SEC. That’s what we’re looking for.”

Cleveland can’t wait to line up in The Swamp with Wells beside him.

“That’s all we’ve been talking about,” Cleveland said. “We’re just ready to get there and go to work. This isn’t little league for us. It’s a business trip.

“We talked about this moment and now we’re about to actually live it. It’s crazy.”


This story originally appeared on SEC Country.

Former backup QB Kyle Trask could become first-rate talent for Florida

Florida quarterback Kyle Trask (right) with offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier. (UAA Communications)
Florida quarterback Kyle Trask (right) with offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier. (UAA Communications)

HOUSTON — Every football fan knows the old adage that the backup quarterback is the most popular guy on a team.

But that hasn’t been the case at Manvel High School near Houston.

The team’s No. 2 signal caller, Kyle Trask, might be a backup once again in 2016, but that role would hold much more significance.

Trask, a two-star recruit, enrolled early at UF in January with fans and media members still wondering how he even had a scholarship offer.

To their disbelief, Trask was the story of the spring. The 6-foot-5, 227-pounder proved to be the most natural passer of Florida’s four new quarterbacks, and surprisingly, he may not redshirt as a true freshman.

How things got to this point is as head-scratching as his commitment to the Gators last summer. But Trask’s emergence at Florida, first as a prospect in camp and then during spring football, came as no shock to his high school coach, Kirk Martin.

“One day they’ll do a 30 for 30 on Kyle Trask and talk about what a dumb butt his high school coach was for not starting him,” Martin said. “I’ll be the guy that cut Michael Jordan. I can own that. But I’m telling you, that’s how good this kid can be.”

Trask played three years behind fellow 2016 classmate D’Eriq King, a Houston signee and one-time TCU commit.

The Elite 11 semifinalist threw for nearly 6,000 yards and 90 total touchdown passes as a junior and senior. The dual-threat quarterback also accounted for 20 scores and 1,426 yards on the ground in that same span.

The Mavericks averaged 55.7 points per game last season and scored 70 or more six times. If you want to know why Trask didn’t start, there’s your sign.

“Everybody talks about Kyle being a backup, I never viewed him that way,” Martin said. “D’Eriq was just so electric with the ball in his hands that it was hard to take him out. We run a wide-open spread offense with a lot of zone reads and quarterback runs that Kyle couldn’t do.

“He’s truly a pro-style quarterback. He can run now, but he’s not a 4.4 guy like D’Eriq. He’s one of the fastest track athletes in Texas. So he was just best for what we do.”

With an offensive system not suited for his skills and playing time hard to come by, transferring could have been beneficial for Trask. He was recruited by other schools to make the switch after his sophomore season but decided against it.

Under eligibility rules of the UIL (University Interscholastic League), prep football players in the state of Texas can be forced to sit out a year if they transfer to another high school for athletic reasons. But a potential penalty is not the primary reason Trask chose to stay at Manvel.

“I still remember the day he came into my office to tell me,” Martin said. “He goes, ‘Coach, I was born and raised in Manvel and I’m not going anywhere. If you allow me the opportunity to compete for the job, I’m staying right here. If D’Eriq is better than me, he has to prove it. I’m not going to run from competition.’

“He never was the full-time starter but he always played. He didn’t jump ship. In this day and age, if you got a competition, as soon as you pick a starter the other kid leaves. We as a society tell them just go somewhere else, there’s a better situation over here. Well, the grass isn’t always greener.”

Martin said he promised Trask and his family he would give him quality minutes and get his film to college coaches. He did both.

“I tried to play Kyle the third series of every game and then the seventh series, regardless of the score,” Martin said, debunking the notion that Trask’s impressive film consists of mop-up duty. “His strongest attribute is his arm and I wanted to showcase that, but I don’t believe in running the score up when you’re beating somebody. I wanted him to have enough film with the first-team offense because I knew he could play.”

In his last two seasons, Trask threw for 1,545 yards (759, 786) and 16 total touchdowns. His career completion rate was 73 percent, and he threw zero interceptions in three years at the varsity level.

“Division I recruiters came to see him,” Martin said, “and I told all of them, ‘If you’re a pro-style team, I guarantee he can come play for you. Here’s what will happen. He’ll beat out whatever big-name guy you bring on campus. He’ll win the job, be a multiyear starter and go on to play in the NFL.’

“Most coaches laughed it off and said there’s no way they could offer a kid that’s a backup. Well, just figure that out for a minute. He’s backing up a kid that was the Houston area player of the year, better than every other quarterback in this huge city. All those other guys were getting offers, but they would have been his backup, too.”

After some selling by Martin, a few coaches decided to give Trask a look. One of them was Florida offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.

“I reached out to Nuss and told him they had to come check out this kid,” Martin said. “He sent the area recruiter through here first and he was like, ‘Whoa.’ So then Nuss came. I put Kyle on the opposite hash throwing 22-yard comebacks. That’s NFL stuff and he was fire-shooting them out of his arm.”

Nussmeier then brought in Trask for a summer camp session last June. He again tried to find flaws in his game, but Trask’s fundamentals and skills showed up in person like they did on his tape.

“Every time you tried to say, ‘Well, I’m not sure,’ he did something that said you are sure,” Nussmeier said. “If you just turned on the film when he played in the games and looked at his production, it’s pretty darn good now.

“You look at the decision making, you look at the size, arm strength, accuracy, and you say, ‘What box aren’t you checking, what are we missing here?’ ”

What transpired in the weeks following that camp may be a first for college football recruiting. A couple small schools were recruiting Trask by that time, but a Power Five program offering a backup quarterback seemed like quite a stretch and probably never had happened before.

Nussmeier, however, was sold on Trask after evaluating him twice.

“Right after the camp,” Martin said, “Nuss called and goes, ‘Kirk, he lit it up.’ He said it was unbelievable, that he was the best guy there. He was ready to offer him.”

Kyle Trask (left) with Gators coach Jim McElwain after camping at UF.
Kyle Trask (left) with Gators coach Jim McElwain after camping at UF.

But UF coach Jim McElwain wasn’t. Not yet.

Still on the fence about it, Martin said McElwain needed to see how Trask stacked up and competed against elite quarterbacks. He also wanted to put him under pressure in a loud atmosphere with fans watching, unlike the camp setting.

So Trask flew back to Gainesville by himself for Friday Night Lights, Florida’s annual recruiting showcase that draws hundreds of top recruits to The Swamp.

“As soon as the event was over,” Martin said, “Nuss calls me and goes, ‘Kirk, he freakin’ lit it up again man!’ They offered him and I started jumping up and down in my house. I was so happy and excited for Kyle. That’s the kind of stage he belongs on.”

It didn’t take long for Trask to show that in the spring. Gators cornerback Jalen Tabor, a projected first-round pick for the 2017 NFL Draft, has experienced Trask’s talent first-hand.

“I love Trask. Pretty ball. He has the prettiest ball,” Tabor said. “Can you still step up in the pocket and deliver a ball to help your team win? That’s the only question I have for him.

“But as far as just the eye test, the kid is big and he can throw. I tried to bait him into one play in the scrimmage and he baited me. He threw it right over my head, I’m like, ‘Oh, I thought I had it.’ But he put it right on a dime. He can definitely drop dimes.”

Trask had a promising performance in the spring game, completing four of his seven pass attempts for 67 yards. Few expected him to outplay fellow freshman Feleipe Franks, an Elite 11 finalist who threw three interceptions, but Trask’s production only confirmed Florida’s summer evaluations.

“We beat Houston Baptist, or somebody on this guy?” McElwain said of Trask. “It goes back to what we expected. Are we surprised the way Kyle has played? No. We saw those things when he kept coming back to camp, putting him in situations.

“I mean, that’s the beauty of getting guys to camp because you’re able to kind of see how they react in different environments. He’s a guy that answered all the questions.”

More questions remain for Trask, such as how he’ll perform in a game or handle his shot at the starting job, if and when it eventually comes. Martin has no doubt it will.

“Kyle Trask is there to stay,” he said. “He’s going to stay the course and he’ll start at the University of Florida. I believe it with my whole heart. I literally told Nussmeier that.

“The really great thing about Nuss and that staff is they trusted their eyes. They didn’t worry about a star rating. They looked and saw the kid can flat-out play. You watch, Kyle Trask will light it up in the NFL and everyone will be going, ‘Man, how did we miss on that guy?’ ”

Was Florida Gators’ decision to move spring game to Friday night the right one?

Florida’s spring game was a success.

Florida tight end DeAndre Goolsby, from left, defensive back Duke Dawson and wide receiver C'yontai Lewis celebrate after a spring football game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Friday, April 8, 2016 in Gainesville, Fla. (Matt Stamey/The Gainesville Sun via AP)
Florida tight end DeAndre Goolsby, from left, defensive back Duke Dawson and wide receiver C’yontai Lewis celebrate after a spring football game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Friday, April 8, 2016 in Gainesville, Fla. (Matt Stamey/The Gainesville Sun via AP)

Not only does it look like the Gators have found a new starting quarterback in Luke Del Rio, who completed 10 of 11 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s Orange & Blue Debut. But Florida’s decision to move the spring game from Saturday afternoon to Friday night worked out. Continue reading “Was Florida Gators’ decision to move spring game to Friday night the right one?”