By: Dan Hancock (@danhancock1978)
Of all the Gators to have entered the Swamp in the last few years, has Trey Burton delivered on the expectations placed upon him when he first strapped his pads in 2010? Although it seems like this is Burton's twelfth season in Gainesville, this will be Trey's fourth. Now a senior, it seems like the 2010 season was a year for Burton to fill the shoes of "The One."
As often as Mick Hubert called "Trips to the Right, Twins to the Left....Touchdown Burton!!," the comparisons were being made of Trey to Tim Tebow. In 2010, there was great reason for it. It seemed that he was a Jack of All Trades and could easily be put anywhere and be a deadly threat. Trey finished his freshman season with 12 TDs, averaging 4.7 yards rushing, 6.6 yards receiving, and confused many SEC defenses simply because they didn't know where he'd be.
That was then. This is now.
In 2013, is there a better athlete on this Gator squad than Burton? Has Burton been misused in the Muschamp era? Was Burton a product of the Urban Meyer System?
Since Coach Muschamp took over in 2011, Burton's numbers have only gone south. This doesn't appear to be due to lack of effort or ability, but because of a lack of attempts. At 6'0, 225lbs, Trey is identified as a running back on the Gator roster. He does not appear to be the type of "up the gut" take-linemen-for-a-ride back that Muschamp is looking for to complete his offense. Coach Muschamp has spent the last three years trying to distance himself from the spread offense that Urban Meyer made his hay with during his time at the Swamp. With a new crop of receivers looking to finally allow the orange and blue to stretch the field, Burton might not get as many receiving yards as he has in years past.
Where does this leave Trey? Could he fill the shoes of Jordan Reed at tight end? Perhaps, but Burton's size may limit his abilities and success at the position. Reed has Burton by a few inches and several pounds.
For those that like to work with their hands, this analogy may make sense. Have you ever gone to Home Depot and found a really cool tool, like a door-holder holder or a battery-powered battery tester, knowing that you'll probably never use it but you swear one day you'll be glad you made the purchase. Trey Burton is that tool. He's not a screwdriver or a hammer. He's not even an Allen wrench set. He's that unique tool that is found in a junk drawer that comes in handy once a year, or so.
Hopefully, wherever he's positioned, he'll stay healthy. With little depth and experience behind Jeff Driskel at the QB spot, Burton may be best equipped to back-up the starting quarterback should Driskel get plagued with the injury bug. Trey does not have the ability of a Jeff Driskel, but he may be serviceable in that role for a series or two, perhaps even a game. Hopefully it's only the Kentucky or Georgia Southern game, though. I'm still scratching my head wondering if Trey Burton is really good, really misused, really disappointing, or really frustrating. Maybe this is the year I stop scratching.
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