Chomp: Plans to pack The Swamp, talk of Trask going in 1st round

A general view during the game between the Florida Gators and the Vanderbilt Commodores at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) (Sam Greenwood, 2019 Getty Images)

This story first appeared in Chomp, our Gators football newsletter. Subscribe here.


Greetings, Gators fans!

There’s a lot going on this week as the countdown to the NFL draft continues and the Florida basketball program keeps making moves this offseason. Gators Breakdown host David Waters also talks Florida football with Gene Chizik.

Plus, we’re celebrating Florida baseball’s win over Florida State. It’s great to be a Florida Gator, and it’s always great to beat the in-state rival.

🎧 Gene Chizik joins Gators Breakdown

Did you know the former Auburn head football coach and current SEC Network analyst played football and graduated from the University of Florida?

Chizik joined Gators Breakdown this week as he looked back at his time at Florida, Emory Jones taking over at QB and Todd Grantham turning around the Gators’ defense.


🏟️ UF plans to pack The Swamp

Speaking at the UF Eye Opener Discovery Breakfast virtual event, Athletic Director Scott Stricklin said the university anticipates all of its sporting events to begin allowing fans at full capacity this fall.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Florida only allowed 20% capacity inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium last season.


📈 Peter King: Kyle Trask a first-round QB?

NFL writer Peter King believes there’s a chance QB Kyle Trask could be drafted in the first round.

“I think I’m starting to think Kyle Trask, the Florida quarterback, has a good chance to be the sixth first-round quarterback,” King wrote in his Football Morning in America column.

Florida quarterback Kyle Trask (11) throws a pass against South Carolina during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux, Pool)

🏈 CBS Sports places Gators in 7-round mock draft

While headlined by Kyle Pitts, Kadarius Toney and Trask, Florida has several prospects that are mocked to have their name called in the NFL draft. Here’s where former Gators land in a full mock draft from CBS Sports:

  • Tight end Kyle Pitts - Miami Dolphins (sixth overall)
  • Receiver Kadarius Toney - New Orleans Saints (28th overall)
  • Quarterback Kyle Trask - Minnesota Vikings (90th overall)
  • Defensive tackle Tedarrell Slaton - Green Bay Packers (135th overall)
  • Cornerback Marco Wilson - Philadelphia Eagles (150th overall)
  • Offensive tackle Stone Forsythe - Las Vegas Raiders (167th overall)
  • Center Brett Heggie - Houston Texans (195th overall)
  • Receiver Trevon Grimes - Las Vegas Raiders (200th overall)
  • Kicker Evan McPherson - Jacksonville Jaguars (249th overall)

🖥️ New episode of “This Is... The Swamp” is out

In “Runnin’ Down A Dream,” episode two of “This Is... The Swamp” season two, pro day is approaching and the next wave of NFL Gators are back in town to prepare.

Go behind the scenes with Trask, Pitts, Toney, Wilson and others to see what it takes to get ready for the ultimate job interview.


📺 Kyles to be featured on ESPN’s pre-draft programming

Trask and Pitts will be highlighted on two of ESPN’s pre-draft series ahead of the 2021 NFL draft.

Trask will be featured on “QB21 with Kirk Herbstreit,” while Pitts will make an appearance on “Hey Rookie: Welcome to the NFL,” the network announced Monday.

The theme for Trask’s episode will focus on his journey from a high school back up to a multiyear starter for the Gators, and it will air at 7 p.m. Monday on ESPN2.

Meanwhile, Pitts will be among four top prospects featured on “Hey Rookie,” an NFL Films-produced series that follows the soon-to-be NFL rookies through their final days in college football, their hometowns, their pro days and through the NFL draft. “Hey Rookie” is slated to air four consecutive weeks (April 13, 20, 27 and May 5).

Florida tight end Kyle Pitts (84) breaks away from Mississippi linebacker Jacquez Jones (32) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. No. 5 Florida won 51-35. (AP Photo/Thomas Graning) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

🏆 Former Gators & Jaguars RB Fred Taylor named to Senior Bowl Hall of Fame

The Jacksonville Jaguars are congratulating Fred Taylor on being named to the Senior Bowl Hall of Fame.

A first-round selection in the 1998 NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Taylor spent four seasons with the Gators (1994-97) as a tailback, appearing in 38 games to collect 3,075 career rushing yards on 537 carries (5.7 average) with 31 touchdowns. His career rushing yards and touchdowns are the fifth-most in school history.

A team captain during this senior campaign at Florida, Taylor tied a school record in 1997 when he joined Emmitt Smith as the only backs in UF history to open a season with five straight 100-yard rushing games.

Drafted ninth overall by the Jaguars in the 1998 draft, Taylor would make an immediate impact as a rookie. He finished his rookie campaign with 1,223 rushing yards, 421 receiving yards and 17 total touchdowns. Over his total NFL career, he left his mark by finishing 17th on the all-time rushing yards list with 11,695 yards, including seven seasons with 1,000-plus rushing yards as the Jaguars running back. He also recorded 2,384 receiving yards in his career as well as scoring 74 total touchdowns.

Former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor. (Getty Images) (Getty Images)

🏀 Florida basketball lands transfer scorer Phlandrous Fleming Jr.

Mike White stays hot in the transfer portal by adding Phlandrous Fleming Jr. from Charleston Southern.

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound guard averaged 20.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game as a senior last season and was named the Big South’s Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight year. Fleming has started in 60 games for the Buccaneers over the past three seasons.

Fleming joins a highly-regarded group of transfers with guard Myreon Jones from Penn State, guard Brandon McKissic from UMKC and forward CJ Felder from Boston College.


⚾ Gators beat Seminoles with walk-off home run

Kendrick Calilao’s walk-off home run in the 10th inning lifted Florida over Florida State, 3-2, on Tuesday.

Garrett Milchin and Jack Leftwich combined for 12 strikeouts and allowed just three hits.

It marked the Gators’ 12th victory in its last 14 games against the Seminoles, and No. 18 Florida (22-11, 6-6 SEC) improved to 20-5 in their new home stadium.

Florida welcomes Missouri to Florida Ballpark for a weekend series, opening at 6:30 p.m. Friday. All three games will be streamed on SEC Network+ and air on radio on WRUF 850 AM/98.1 FM in Gainesville, 1010 XL in Jacksonville or on any mobile device via TuneIn app.


🎙️ Listen to more Gators Breakdown

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About the Author:

Jacksonville native and proud University of Florida graduate who joined News4JAX in 2016.