Trent Whittemore has more memories inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium than most people ever will but none will top the memory he made on Saturday.
Growing up in Gainesville Whittemore has been to more Gator games than he can count and being a hometown kid meant that Whittemore had quite the cheering section even though there were only 15,120 people in the stands.
Down in the red zone, Whittemore lined up inside of receiver Justin Shorter. The play design calls for Whittemore to break outside while Shorter cuts inside, essentially setting a pick of two defensive backs that should leave Whittemore open. It did but the redshirt freshman almost didn’t make the catch. As Whittemore turned around to see the ball he had to stop to turn his body and started to slip in the end zone. He came down with the ball, juggling it for a moment, his first touchdown in Orange and Blue.
“It was surreal. That’s a great way to describe it,” Whittemore said of his first career touchdown catch. “Like I said, just having my family there was huge for me. Growing up and watching so many Gator games and being at some too, it’s just a super cool moment. I’m just praising the Lord that they gave me that opportunity today.”
Whittemore’s athleticism was on display earlier in the game with an incredible leaping catch.
TRENT WHITTEMORE pic.twitter.com/ZacmWytj3z
— Ben Murphy (@BenMurphyTV) October 3, 2020
We may just be seeing the beginning of what Whittemore can do. The way teams will start to target Kyle Pitts, who is putting together an All-American season of his own, will open things for the rest of the offense and Whittemore is building trust with the coaching staff one catch at a time.
“We’ve seen a lot of great things in practice all the time. I’m sure it was even more exciting for him than me, being a local guy growing up here and growing up as a Gator. Getting that opportunity is pretty special.” Dan Mullen said. “We’ve seen him, not just this year but last year. A guy that finds a way to get open, such an intelligent football player, he’s got great hands. You saw his athletic ability also on that big catch he made across the middle. It’s good to see. As we said, we keep rolling receivers through, getting different guys different opportunities. As we continue to grow as a team we’re going to need that to create that depth as this season moves on.”