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Kyle Trask will enter 2021 NFL Draft

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Florida’s record-setting quarterback is off to the pros.

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl-Florida vs Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Gators quarterback Kyle Trask will enter the 2021 NFL Draft, he announced via Twitter on Thursday.

Trask was widely expected to enter the NFL Draft after the 2020 season even before he turned it into his personal edit of Florida’s record books, even though he likely wouldn’t have needed the NCAA’s blanket grant of an extra year of eligibility to every player taking part in the 2020 college football season to utilize a sixth and final season of eligibility in 2021. His oft-told story of sitting as a backup from the time he was a Manvel High Maverick behind eventual Houston and then Miami quarterback D’Eriq King included two years of sitting at Florida partially due to injury, which would probably have permitted him to successfully petition the NCAA for clearance to play in 2021.

But Trask would have a hard time replicating his incredible 2020 campaign even with the stars aligning in his return. He threw for 4,283 yards and 43 touchdowns, both Florida records by significant margins despite the Gators playing just 12 games in 2020, and also established new single-season marks for completion percentage (69.8) and quarterback rating (180.02), among others.

And though he had at least one of Kyle Pitts and Kadarius Toney on hand for most of those throws and did little to pad his stats — except his interception total — in a brief appearance in the 2020 Cotton Bowl, Trask likely turned himself from a late-round pick to a possible mid-round selection even in a quarterback-rich draft class. He won’t be challenging Trevor Lawrence’s status as the consensus top prospect in the class and is unlikely to crack most analysts’ top fives, but Trask’s excellent accuracy and decision-making have helped compensate for a lack of elite arm strength or athleticism at the highest level of college football, and his great size (6’5”, 240 pounds) for the position is as likely to impress evaluators as his dedication to his career and his Gators teammates already have.

Trask ascends from the collegiate ranks to the stage of being an aspirational pro as one of the most beloved Gators ever, even if his 2020 season may only yield a distant fourth-place finish in the Heisman Trophy race, no first-team All-American honors thanks to Alabama’s Mac Jones blocking him, and an SEC East championship as Florida’s best team accomplishment.

Any Gator who experienced it will forever remember what Kyle Trask did this year was far more in the moment than what even what it will appear to be on paper in posterity.

And emblazoning that in memory may be sweeter than any statue ever could be.

Farewell and the best of luck to you, Kyle.