Florida’s Anthony Richardson was always going to make Sports Illustrated’s list of the most intriguing quarterbacks in college football heading into the 2022 season, but falling to No. 13 seems low given all the hype he’s received.
Richardson is being projected by ESPN as a top-10 draft pick in the upcoming draft. One would think that such a talent would warrant the same top-10 status on Pat Forde’s list, but that’s not the case. To Forde’s credit, a top three of Caleb Williams, who followed Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma to USC in the offseason, last year’s Heisman winner Bryce Young (Alabama) and Heisman finalist C.J. Stroud (Ohio State) is solid.
Forde pays as much attention to the off-the-field aspects of the player in this series as he does the on-the-field. Richardson’s explosiveness has mostly come on the field, but he’s warming up to the media as he becomes the face of the Gators. Here’s what Forde had to say about the first-year starter.
He flashed enough talent last season to leave Gators fans salivating for more—and the fact that Dan Mullen didn’t find a way to deliver more with Richardson is one reason why he’s now a former coach and current ESPN analyst. The 6’4″, 236-pounder with the Cam Newton starter set of skills now has control of the starting position under new coach Billy Napier. He made headlines this summer by announcing a change in his nickname, going from “AR-15” to just “AR” and dropping his jersey number to avoid aligning with the semiautomatic weapon of the same name.
Ahead of Richardson are fellow SEC quarterbacks No. 8 Spencer Rattler (South Carolina), No. 10 Stetson Bennett (Georgia) and No. 12 Will Levis (Kentucky). Georgia transfer and West Virginia starter is also ahead of him in the No. 11 spot.
If Richardson turns out to be a top-10 pick in the upcoming draft, he’ll be much more intriguing to the national media than he is today. Still, he’s a player that NFL scouts are going to have an eye on early, so it’s odd to see him so low on this list.
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