Florida QB Anthony Richardson willing to ‘dive head first’ into NFL career
INDIANAPOLIS — Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson has another agenda at the NFL combine besides displaying his natural and raw talent that fans and NFL scouts witnessed every Saturday during the college football season.
Outside of being labeled a “project,” a term some media members have loosely used to describe what an NFL team would be getting once they draft Richardson, he is ready to tell his side of the story.
“A lot of people say I’m immature because I’m only 21 years old,” Richardson said March 3. “But I had to grow up early in life; I had to raise my younger brother while my mom was working two to three jobs every year. So, a lot of people don’t know my situation; they don’t know my story. And that’s why I’m here. To tell my story and let people know how I am.”
The story he tells consists of moving from Miami, Florida, in 2013 to Gainesville with his mother (LaShawnda Lane) and younger brother (Cory) as his mom searched for better living arrangements after living with relatives for a significant amount of time. Richardson did everything he could growing up to try and alleviate some of the pressure off his mom by helping to raise his little brother.
“If you ask a lot of people around Gainesville, I had a black little mountain bike, and whenever you saw me on it, you saw my little brother on the handlebars,” said Richardson. “I had to take him to school. I had to take him to get food. I had to get him dressed for school. That is my brother, but I love him as if he is my son. I am just glad he is a part of my life, and I love him and can’t wait for both of us to live out our dreams.”
The 6-foot-4, 232-pound quarterback who has the ability to beat defenses from inside of the pocket with his arm or outside of the pocket with his legs will have those dreams fulfilled early as he is projected to be selected within the first 12 picks in the 2023 NFL draft.
Richardson finished his college career with a combined 4,221 yards (3,105 passing, 1,105 rushing), 36 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. His 54.7 completion percentage will raise eyebrows and concerns about whether or not he is an accurate passer.
“I can definitely get better at delivering the ball and helping my guys out,” Richardson said. “My completion percentage, some would say is not great. I don’t think it is great either, but it is just growing as a quarterback. Not every year is going to be your best year and I definitely learned a lot from last season.”
One team that will have their eyes set on his combine workout Saturday and his pro day in Florida will be the Houston Texans, who have two draft picks (Nos. 2 and 12) in the first round and desperately need a quarterback.
Richardson met with the Texans and alluded to the meeting going very well and was informative. If Houston decides to trade down from their No. 2 pick to gain more draft capital, Richardson could be a quarterback they select.
With all his raw talent and ability, “Cam Jackson,” a nickname he gave himself in high school after his two favorite quarterbacks, Cam Newton, and Lamar Jackson, Richardson is ready for whatever his role will be with any NFL team.
“I just know whatever situation I am put into, I am going to dive in head first and keep grinding hard,” said Richardson.
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