Gainesville’s Anthony Richardson impressing Florida coaches
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Anthony Richardson has not taken long to impress the Florida coaches.
“He’s obviously got a ton of God-given ability,” Gators quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson told reporters on a Zoom call last Wednesday.
Richardson enrolled early at Florida, arriving on campus last winter. The 6-foot-4, 224-pound dual-threat quarterback hails from Gainesville, Fla..
“From what I’ve seen so far, he picks things up really fast, which is great,” said Gators head coach Dan Mullen. “He’s taken a lot in and learned a lot from our ability to have all these different meetings.”
“With him missing spring ball I was a little concerned in terms of him not being able to get those reps and miss those really, really valuable reps in the spring,” added Johnson about the former Eastside High School standout. “Like I said, he was really engaged in our Zooms over the Summer. He’s a great note-taker. He’s a great listener. He really gives you everything in terms of his energy and effort to become a really great player.”
Although Richardson did not have spring ball, the true freshman was allowed on campus back in December - which means he was able to participate in not only some bowl prep practices but also the January workouts.
“He is a stud,” quarterback Kyle Trask said about Richardson last winter. “He is going to be great for this University. He has only been here a couple of days, so I can’t say too much, but my first impression is that he is really athletic, and he has a very strong arm. He is a very talented kid.”
“He can throw really well,” receiver Josh Hammond added after only seeing Richardson a few days. “He’s been doing really well. His first day, I saw him, I’m like, ‘This young guy can throw the ball really well.’ I’m excited for him. I’m excited to see what they do with him in the future. He’s been practicing really well. He can play quarterback.”
Trask is undoubtedly one of the SEC’s best returners under center, while Emory Jones has shown some great flashes of what he can bring to the table. However, COVID-19 brings another element to the mix. With the virus capable of knocking out an entire position group with one positive infection, Richardson may see his number called a little earlier than expected.
Johnson is not too worried if that were to happen.
“I think depth is a huge advantage in any year, particularly in a year with such uncertainty going forward,” Johnson said. “I think that’s definitely one of the things that will help us moving forward: that we have confidence that guys can go in the game and execute at a high level, not only at the quarterback position but throughout the entire offense. Everybody’s done a really good job throughout the installation period of getting everything in and getting comfortable with where we need to be and continuing to improve on a daily basis.”
The NCAA is granting everyone a free year of eligibility in 2020, so who is to say Richardson will not feature in a package or two this fall.
“He’s got a fantastic skill set, we’ve just got to keep developing him at a rapid rate and he’s got to continue to just keep pushing, keep developing,” Johnson said. “But I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far out of him.”
“He’s picked things up really fast,” said Mullen. “I’m really excited about his future.”
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