With the season officially wrapped up, and the Heisman Trophy awarded, it is time for the other awards to be handed out, and Gators tight end Kyle Pitts is one of the many receiving one. Tonight, Pitts was awarded the John Mackey Award, given to the nation’s top tight end.
The two other finalists were Charlie Kolar (JR, Iowa State) and Jalen Wydermeyer (SO, Texas A&M).
Pitts was also named a Walter Camp First Team All-American tight end, making him a unanimous First Team All-American, selected by the Associated Press, Walter Camp Football Foundation, Sporting News, the FWAA and the AFCA. Pitts joins linebacker Brandon Spikes (2008), Joe Haden (2009), and Vernon Hargreaves III (2015) as the only players in UF history to earn unanimous All-American honors.
In the end, it wasn’t close who would be honored as the best tight end in college football. Pitts was easily the best offensive player on the Florida football team this season and was instrumental to its success for the majority of the season. On all areas of the field, Pitts simply dominated.
On the year, Pitts accumulated 43 receptions for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was able to accomplish this by playing in only seven-and-a-half games (Pitts did not play in the second half against the Georgia Bulldogs due to injury). The junior tight end would become one of the greatest in Florida history after breaking the school record for most yards set by a 2007-09 Gators tight end (1,382 yards).
Over three years, Pitts has gone for 1,492 yards.
Shortly following the Gators’ 52-46 loss against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship Game, the 6-foot-6, 240-pound tight end officially announced his intentions to forego his senior season at Florida, declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft.
He is thought by draft analysts to be the best tight end in the draft and could be taken as high as 10th overall.
Near the start of the season, Gators head coach Dan Mullen praised Pitts for being a “unicorn,” a player that is virtually unguardable.
“He’s got tremendous athletic ability to go catch the ball, and as I think everybody saw, he’s really developed much better as a blocker this offseason. When you combine those things defensively, who do you put on him,” Mullen asked in Sept. 2020.
“It’s like we talked, he’s kind of a unicorn, right? So unless you have a unicorn on defense to match the unicorn on offense – you’ve got to have a guy that, there’s not a lot of them out there, they’re kind of very, very rare to ever see one – do you have a 6-foot-4, 240-pound linebacker than can run with him?”
Over the course of the season, it was made clear that most, if not all of the competition that Pitts ultimately faced were unable to guard him. A true unicorn, Pitts has been awarded the highest honor, the best tight end in the nation.