Over the next 8 days, Gator Country will preview the players that make up the 2013 Florida Gators football team as we inch closer and closer to the season.
Each day we will count down using the player whose jersey number corresponds with how many days there are left until Florida kicks off against Toledo in The Swamp on August 31.
Today we take a look at Trey Burton.
An athlete from Venice High School, Burton was a pivotal member of the 2010 recruiting class. As the Gators were putting together one of the best recruiting classes in the country, Urban Meyer’s sudden retirement caused a lot of unrest in the recruiting class. Burton took it upon himself to call all the members of the class and was a big reason the class stayed together.
Burton’s career got off to a fast start as a freshman when he broke Tim Tebow’s record for most touchdowns in a game by a quarterback (6) against Kentucky. Burton started 11 games that season seeing time at quarterback, fullback, tight end, wide receiver and was a staple on kickoff coverage. He earned Freshman All-SEC honors, as well as being named freshman of the week twice. Burton led the team in total touchdowns (12) and ranks third all-time in Florida’s record book for total touchdowns as a freshman.
Burton appeared in all 13 games with seven starts as a sophomore but didn’t make the same impact as he did his first season on campus. Burton combined to touch the ball 62 times his second year on the team, 13 less total touches than the 75 carries he had as a freshman.
Last season, Burton continued to fill multiple roles for the Gators but saw his touches drop for a second consecutive season. Burton’s season highlight came on an 80-yard touchdown run against Tennessee that turned the game around and began the rout in Knoxville.
Burton is one of the smartest football players you are going to come across. He has been asked to play every single position on offense expect for offensive line. To be able to grasp that much of the playbook and to play that many positions is impressive.
Burton isn’t great at any one position but he is very good at multiple positions and allows the offense to be very multiple in their sets and formations. Burton is also a very sure ball carrier and someone you won’t see make a big mistake.
He is a sure receiver with very good hands out of the backfield and in the slot.
As a quarterback, Burton has yet to show the arm strength or accuracy to make him a legitimate threat as a passer out of the wildcat formation. While he does a good job at the position and provides a nice change of pace for the offense in that package, there isn’t a defense in the SEC that is worried about him throwing the ball when he lines up at quarterback.
Burton will be used as more of a pure receiver this season than he has in previous years. He needs to work on his route running in order to develop timing with his quarterback.
What to Expect
While his touches have gone down each year since Will Muschamp has taken over as the head coach at Florida, expect Burton to once again play multiple roles for the Gators. He will see time at receiver, quarterback, fullback, running back and will continue to be a staple on special teams.
Burton is a Jack-of-all-trades, master of none, but his athleticism and football IQ will give the Gators an added dimension to their offense that they wouldn’t have without him.