Shhhhh. Do you hear that?
It’s coming from the students sitting inside UF’s Library West. It can be heard at the urinals of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Fans sitting on their couches across Florida and the rest of the country are all saying it.
“START ANTHONY RICHARDSON!”
Florida backup quarterback Anthony Richardson is a generational talent. He’s 6-foot-4, can hurdle dudes at 236 pounds and has an arm akin to his nickname, AR15.
I knew that after watching him play in one game. After two games, I know he’s much more than that — he’s a human street sweeper that flattens defenders into the dirt and gives head coach Dan Mullen exactly the type of versatility, size and athleticism he needs to win a Heisman Trophy and a national championship.
I know Mullen has placed his trust in Emory Jones, but it’s hard for Gator fans not to fall in love with Richardson. So, just who is Anthony Richardson and why is he so darn good?
Who is Anthony Richardson?
Richardson was a four-star recruit and ranked the ninth-best dual-threat prospect (seriously, only the ninth-best??) in the country in 2020. He played right down the road from The Swamp at Eastside High School in Gainesville, Florida.
The hometown kid took a redshirt last year while Kyle Trask played his way into Heisman contention. He watched Emory Jones serve as the back-up and come into games sparingly.
He may only be a redshirt freshman in 2021, but AR15 looks like the second coming of Tebow for the Florida Gators, and NCAA fans have already salivated.
I don’t want to bore anyone with stats — like that his 152 passing yards and 115 rushing yards made him the first UF quarterback since Tebow to eclipse both century marks. Instead, I’ll just let his incredible gameplay speak for itself.
Anthony Richardson Highlights
Remember when everyone questioned Urban Meyer why a backup by the name of Cameron Newton wasn’t starting over Tim Tebow? Of course you don’t. It never happened. Tebow went on to be, well, Tebow.
If Richardson isn’t given the reigns as QB1, we may look back and say that. Richardson really has shown shades of the Heisman winner and NFL MVP.
Take a look at this 80-yard rushing TD against South Florida in Tampa, complete with a stiff arm and all:
Or the hurdle heard around The Swamp when Florida played FAU:
Tell me how a man who’s 6-foot-4 and 236 pounds can move that fast. In fact, he reached 21 miles per hour on that 80-yard run. That is most certainly not school zone approved. His hamstring could barely keep up with him.
Richardson’s game doesn’t stop on the ground. His throws have been incredible, too:
And don’t even get me started about this beautiful play that takes advantage of his threat to run:
I know these came against the lowly Florida Atlantic Owls and USF Bulls, but Richardson stole the show in those games. Plus, Emory Jones threw two interceptions in each of them. He has four interceptions and just two passing touchdowns.
I don’t know what Anthony Richardson is capable of against SEC powers like the Alabama Crimson Tide, Georgia, Auburn, Arkansas, LSU, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas A&M. What I do know is he boasts more athleticism in his left pinky toe than most quarterbacks around college football.
Mullen waited to insert Kyle Trask into the starting role only after Feleipe Franks went down with an injury. He can’t afford to wait with Jones and Richardson. Fans have seen enough: it’s Anthony Richardson time.