As he lay on the lush turf last Saturday afternoon, fearing the worst, Kyle Trask wondered: Why now? The Florida quarterback’s knee had twisted. He’d heard a pop. His mind immediately went to what it might mean.
“Scary,” Trask calls it now, long after the diagnosis came back – a sprain – and after he’d come back into the game to help lead the Gators to a win against Auburn, which is the program’s most significant in years.
“I’m so grateful the way it turned out,” he says.
He’s referring to the injury, but the extrapolation fits, too. This weekend, Trask will lead the Gators in an even bigger opportunity, this one on the road against No. 6 LSU. A fourth-year junior, Trask will make his fourth start – since he was in ninth grade.
“Pretty surreal,” Trask says.
But it’s oh, so real. Which only makes the running joke among his former coaches at Manvel High School near Houston even funnier. They’ve long envisioned a “30 for 30”-style documentary about the guy who played at Florida and then in the NFL and, well, as Larry McRae puts it, laughing:
“We’re gonna be the bums that, ‘Why didn’t he start for his high school?’”
But there was good reason. Manvel had two superb quarterbacks in the same class. D’Eriq King, a dual-threat dynamo who’s now at Houston, was a better fit for the Mavericks’ offensive system.
As King put up big numbers for Manvel, Trask played plenty. The game plan each week had Trask entering the game for the third series.