No quarterback has received as much hype and speculation this offseason as Anthony Richardson has. Last year, a different Florida quarterback, Emory Jones, received the praise. It never panned out for him, but Richardson feels different this year.
Richardson looks the part, has shown the part, and also has the right staff to get the most out of him now. Just what is that potential, and what can it turn into? We have yet to know for sure, but if you ask anyone who has watched him, you will hear one word, special.
A New Staff Looks to Bring Out Limitless Potential
Born and raised in Gainesville, Florida, Anthony Richardson has a front-row seat to the program’s best years. He grew up watching what a winning Florida team looked like. He decided after High School he wanted to be a part of that too. After attending Eastside High School and scoring 87 touchdowns, he committed to Florida and then head coach Dan Mullen. Mullen was seen as a QB whisperer, and with that hope, many expected the magic to return, starting with Richardson.
Sadly that magic never returned. What would return instead were the issues that bewildered the program.
Despite the flashes of excellence, Mullen couldn’t commit to Richardson as the starting QB, and ultimately he was fired. Now, new head coach Billy Napier comes over to Gainesville after building Louisianna-Lafeyette from the ground up. He had a fun offense while coaching there, and it is that offense that has many excited for a full year of Richardson.
What You See When Watching Him
When you watch Richardson on TV or film, you notice how physically imposing he is. Listed at 6’4”, 236 pounds, and looks every bit of it. His size is a weapon for his game, and it allows him to be an efficient passer and runner when needed. Passing, he can see every angle of the field while also being able to absorb contact. Richardson can run through arm tackles and maintain balance through contact as a runner. His running ability especially is something to see, reminds me a ton of Cam Newton when he takes off.
Richardson and his arm strength are sometimes absurd to watch unfold. He can have too much zip on passes in the short to intermediate levels, but in terms of making deep passes, lookout. The power he generates during his throwing motion is unparalleled. It allows him to make throws that not many quarterbacks in the college game should be able to make. The new offense should allow him to get that strength more refined while also making it better.
Richardson will have no excuses on offense this year. Florida has surrounded him with two talented RBs from the transfer portal, mainly Demarkus Bowman. He also will have leading receivers Justin Shorter and Xzavier Henderson at his disposal.
If Richardson pans out, so many devy players and C2C players will feel like they invested in Bitcoin a year ago, of course. His stock has been up and down, but through it, enough traits have shined that you would be reasonable to feel excited for this year. He has a chance to take a significant step and maybe enter that tier just behind the top two guys.
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