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UF Football: Four Gators Named National Semifinalists for Six Awards

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY TOMMY SCOTT

Trask, Pitts, McPherson, and Elam recognized for strong seasons

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Florida’s Kyle Trask, Kyle Pitts, Evan McPherson, and Kaiir Elam were recognized by the National College Football Awards Association on Monday as semifinalists for several prestigious national awards.

Trask was named a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien Award and the Maxwell Award, while Pitts collected three semifinalist designations from the Biletnikoff Award, Mackey Award, and the Maxwell Award.

McPherson was named a Lou Groza Award Semifinalist, while Elam was named a Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalist.

Kyle Trask

  *   2020 Davey O’Brien Award Semifinalist
  *   2020 Maxwell Award Semifinalist

Trask leads the FBS in touchdown passes with 38, ranks second in passing yards with 3,243, and sits at No. 5 in passing efficiency (193.11) this season.
Trask’s 38 touchdown passes this season move him within one of Danny Wuerffel’s single-season school record (39 in 1996). He is also No. 2 in the FBS in passing touchdown percentage with 11.8%.

With his four passing touchdowns against Tennessee on Saturday, Trask became the ninth FBS quarterback since 2000 with seven games of four-plus passing touchdowns in a season.

The redshirt senior’s 433 passing yards rank 10th on the program’s single-game school record list; Trask joins Danny Wuerffel (four) as the only quarterbacks in Gators history with three career 400-yard passing games.

Davey O’Brien Award Info: The Davey O’Brien Fan Vote instituted a change to its format in 2020, as fans voted for their favorite quarterback’s post from the Davey O’Brien official accounts via three social media platforms -Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. The top five vote-getters on those platforms each received bonus committee member votes.

The next step in the process will be to select the award’s three finalists from 16 quarterbacks. Round two fan voting is now open and will close on Sunday, Dec. 20. National selection committee voting will take place from Dec. 16-20.

The three finalists will be named on Tuesday, Dec. 22. The winner is to be announced live on Thursday, Jan. 7, on the 30th annual The Home Depot College Football Awards, which will be held virtually from 7-8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Maxwell Award Info: Semifinalist voting for both of the collegiate awards presented by the Maxwell Football Club will begin on Dec. 8 and will close on Dec. 20. Three finalists for each award will be announced on Dec 21 and a finalist round of voting will take place at that time.

Eligible voters include Maxwell Football Club members, NCAA head football coaches, sports information directors, and selected national media. All semifinalists are listed in alphabetical order by school with the player’s school, position and class designated.

The winners of the 84th Maxwell Award and the 26th Chuck Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show, which will be broadcast live on ESPN on Jan 7.

Kyle Pitts

  *   2020 Biletnikoff Award Semifinalist
  *   2020 Mackey Award Semifinalist
  *   2020 Maxwell Award Semifinalist

Pitts has caught 36 passes for 641 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. His 11 touchdown grabs this season place him at No. 4 in the FBS among all pass catchers and No. 1 among all tight ends.

Pitts logged his third career 100-yard receiving game, breaking the school record jointly held by three Gators – a trio that included Kirk Kirkpatrick (1987-90), Ben Troupe (2000-03), and Aaron Hernandez (2007-2009).

Pitts is the third Gators tight end with multiple 100-yard games in a season (Hernandez 2009 and Troupe in 2003).

Biletnikoff Award Info: The Biletnikoff Award annually recognizes the college football season’s outstanding FBS receiver. Any player, regardless of position (wide receiver, tight end, slot back, and running back) who catches a pass is eligible for the award. As such, the Biletnikoff Award recognizes college football’s outstanding receiver, not merely college football’s outstanding wide receiver.

The semifinalists, finalists, and award recipient are selected by the highly distinguished Biletnikoff Award National Selection Committee, a group of prominent college football journalists, commentators, announcers, Biletnikoff Award winners, and other former receivers.

Mackey Award Info: The Mackey Award is currently scheduled to be awarded on Jan. 7 with the finalists announced on Dec. 22.

Evan McPherson

  *   2020 Lou Groza Award Semifinalist

McPherson is 12-of-15 on field goals this season and 42-of-42 on PATs. His longest field goal this season is a 55-yarder against Ole Miss, which is tied for the third-longest make in school history.

McPherson is tied for first in the FBS in field goals made past 50 yards this season and is tied for 12th in points scored among all kickers with 78.

Lou Groza Award Info: Semifinalists will be voted on by a panel of more than 100 FBS head coaches, SIDs, media members,  former Groza finalists, and current NFL kickers to select the three finalists.

These finalists will be announced on Dec. 22 and honored at the 29th annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker  Awards Virtual Awards Celebration, streamed live on Jan. 4 on lougrozaaward.com.

The same panel then selects the winner, who will be announced live on ESPN at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Jan 7.

Kaiir Elam

  *   2020 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalist

This season, Elam has registered 31 tackles, two interceptions, one tackle-for-loss, and ten pass-breakups and has contributed to a defense that has held four of its last six opponents to under 20 points.

Prior to the season, Elam was named to the Thorpe Award Watch List, the SEC Preseason Coaches Second Team, and the SEC Preseason Media Second Team.

Thorpe Award Info: The award recipient is selected from the three finalists by the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award National Selection Committee, which boasts members of the NCFAA, an Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in-house award committee, former Paycom Jim Thorpe Award recipients, and sportswriters and college football journalists throughout the country.

The three finalists will be announced on Dec. 22, in conjunction with ESPN.

The 2020 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award winner will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards Show Presented by Gildan on Jan. 7, from 7-8:30 p.m. ET live on ESPN.

The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award commemorative banquet is scheduled to be held in Oklahoma City on March 30.

Editor’s note: The UF Football program no longer recognizes Aaron Hernandez, so his name was omitted from the lists in the article from the University Athletic Association.