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All eyes are on Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson this year as he prepares to lead UF’s offense in the first year of the Billy Napier era. Gator Nation received glimpses of what to expect from him last year, but Napier’s job is to draw out some consistency from the 21-year-old.
That should be easier with Emory Jones out of the picture and Napier backing Richardson as Florida’s leader on offense without question. When asked about Richardson during his SEC media day appearances, Napier predicted a breakout year for him.
“I’ve been impressed,” Napier said. “I think he’s remained humble. He’s got a little bit of an edge. I think he wants to prove himself … He has tremendous ability. He’s working hard to develop, improve as a person, as a leader. He’s working hard to increase his football IQ. His skill is developing. I think he’s prime to have a phenomenal year.”
One of the key changes that will be made this year is speeding up the tempo on offense. Fans were able to see some of the improvements during the spring game, but there’s still work to be done to get things where they need to be in the fall. As the only player who touches the ball every play on offense, Richardson’s understanding of Napier’s scheme is crucial.
“The tempo,” Richardson said. “I’m going to push the tempo a lot.”
Napier is hoping that his quarterback can channel some of the urgency he showed in that spring game appearance before Florida hosts Utah on September 3. The experts already have Richardson ranked among the top quarterbacks in the class, and Gator Nation is looking for a quick turnaround. Whether they get it or not, may very well depend on how quickly Richardson masters Napier’s offense.
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