Florida’s Anthony Richardson is the fastest rising in college football

There are quarterbacks in every trial class who seem to have come out of nowhere to rise to the first level. In 2021, Pete’s Kenny Pickett threw 42 touchdowns and just seven interceptions – during his first four years sum With the Panthers, he threw 39 touchdowns and 25 picks. The past does not matter. Latest Picket more Had the Steelers taken him with the 20th overall pick when he would have been a mid-round prospect at best before then.

As we head into the 2022 college football season, we have to turn our eyes to Anthony Richardson of the Florida Gators as the most likely prospect that might come out of nowhere in the NFL scouts when it comes time to enlist. A four-star recruit and fifth double-threat quarterback in the country from Eastside High School in Gainesville, Richardson committed to the Gators and spent most of his first season as a real freshman sitting behind Kyle Trask. He only attempted 66 passes, completed 39 for 559 yards, seven touchdowns, and six interceptions. Richardson was more dynamic as a runner, gaining 462 yards and scoring three touchdowns in 58 coaches.

But once Trask left for the NFL, it was hard to know how Richardson would respond to the increased responsibility.

It only took one game to write that same story. The seventh-ranked Gators upset Utah 29-26 in a game that made it to the wire, and Richardson was the star of it all. He completed 17 of 24 passes for 168 yards and no touchdown, but was saving it for the ground game. Richardson ran the ball 11 times for 106 yards and three touchdowns against a thoroughly overpowered Utes defense, and Utah coach Kyle Whittingham saw it coming — comparing Richardson to Cam Newton, another NCAA player who did well in the NFL .

“You have to count the QB in the running game every time,” Whittingham said on the Monday before Saturday’s game. The man is said to have 4.3 speeds. At this size, it’s unbelievable. He’s a Cam Newton-ish type of figure with his physical stature and running ability. This is something the defense staff are well aware of and should be factored into almost everything you do.

“Quarterback is awesome. I know it’s not a huge amount of work, but some people consider him among the top ten picks for this upcoming draft. He obviously has a lot of potential. Big kid. 6-4, 240 pounds, and really fast. He’s going to be a handful.” For us “.

Whittingham said pretty much the same after the match. And he was able to confirm Richardson’s trajectory speed.

“He ran for 100+ yards and there was some nasty runs in the first half and touchdowns in the second. He’ll get on. The guy’s like 6’4″ and 240 and runs like a 4.3, so there’s no way to keep him packed. He did damage at key points and times. In the game he is a great player.”

Richardson has already shown enough running ability to be on any opponent’s coach’s radar. But it was the ways in which he got things done in the passing game that could make Richardson outrun everyone else’s boards.

Timing and anticipation.

(Kim Clement – USA Today Sports)

Richardson didn’t have any deep finishes against Utah—he tried one throw of 20 yards or more, and didn’t finish it. But he did well in the 10-19 yard range, and this 14-yard throw of receiver Ricky Peirsall with 2:52 left in the first half was an excellent example of a quarterback anticipating where he was, resulting in a tight pacing and placement requirement.

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Making tight-window throws.

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

This 16-yard pass to Pearsall with nine seconds left in the third quarter showed that Richardson has no issue firing schemed throws into tight windows. He’s got linebacker Mohamoud Diabate (No. 3) to deal with dropping into coverage and following his target, but when Richardson sees Diabate breaking to Pearsall a hair late, he’s able to fire the ball in there for the successful play on the quick comeback part of the route.

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Winning as a runner.

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

And as Whittingham said, Richardson is a real problem as a runner — he has size (6-foot-4, 232 pounds), agility, power, and speed in the open field. This 45-yard run proves the theory — whether scrambling after he steps up in the pocket, or working through defenses on designed runs, Richardson has this in his arsenal in a Cam Newton/Josh Allen sense.

And this fake jump pass for a two-point conversion showed just how well Richardson can use his legs to keep himself alive as a passer — and with an evil play-fake to boot.

Saturday’s showdown will tell us even more.

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

We’ll next see Richardson against another formidable opponent when the Gators take on the 20th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats at 7:00 p.m. EST. Kentucky has Will Levis, a quarterback who came into this season already considered a first-round prospect, and a defense that can present different problems.

If Richardson is able to pass this test as well as he did against what Utah threw at him, you’ll hear the first-round roar around his name become much louder.

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