2020 QB Anthony Richardson visits Gator Grill-Out, talks UF offer: “I’ve been thinking about it”

Eastside QB Anthony Richardson attends UF's inaugural Gator Grill-Out on Saturday, May 19, 2018 [Photo by Graham Hall/Special to The Sun]

It’s been an exciting couple of days for 2020 dual-threat quarterback Anthony Richardson. Richardson, the starting quarterback for local Eastside High, was back on UF’s campus on Saturday for the “Great Gator Grill-Out” event as his recruitment continues to pick up following an offer from UF and coach Dan Mullen earlier in the week.

With previous offers coming from the likes of Florida International, Louisville and Boston College, Richardson’s recruitment appears poised to take off following an offer from the Gators.

“They were telling me they really like me, they really want me to come. I’ve been thinking about it,” Richardson said. “I wasn’t really a big fan until probably last year. That’s when I really saw that I liked Florida a lot.”

Richardson, one of a select few prospects in recent memory from Gainesville to pick up a scholarship offer from the hometown Gators, said the days following the offer have been a whirlwind of congratulations and praise from friends and family alike.

“It’s been crazy. I mean, a lot of text messages and phone calls from a lot of different people,” Richardson said. “Just going crazy for me.”

At just 16 years old, Richardson’s game will surely progress before commitment time. And in the months following the conclusion of his sophomore campaign with the Rams, Richardson has developed physically as well.

“I’m about two inches taller,” the 6-foot-4 Richardson said. “And 10 pounds bigger, yeah.”

When it comes to his skill set, however, UF has given him a frank assessment of where his game needs to progress.

“They’ve been telling me that they like what I’m doing, but to speed up my footwork, stuff like that,” Richardson said. “I’ve really been taking that in, because I do need that.”

Yet Saturday’s festivities weren’t about X’s and O’s. Richardson said he enjoyed the event, one which gave prospects and coaches an opportunity to take a break from the typical grind of the recruitment trail.

“I talked to the coaches, talked to the players. And we just hung out,” Richardson said. “(Coach John Hevesy) is a cool guy. He’s straight to the point. I like when people be straight with me.”

Richardson and the Rams took on Dixie County in the team’s Spring game on Friday, and the 16-year-old signal caller had an impressive return to the field. In a 48-23 Eastside victory, Richardson turned in a 12-for-17 performance in the air for 255 yards and four touchdowns while having his way on the ground as well. Richardson reeled off a 50-yard dash for six before finishing with 101 yards on the ground.

Rather than settle for the Florida offer, Richardson wants to keep his options open, saying he aims to raise his profile this summer while improving on his fundamentals.

“A lot of camps, going to visit different colleges. Trying to get my name out even more,” Richardson, who added he tries to emulate his game on Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, said. “I’m going to Florida State, Auburn and Clemson.

“I want to work on my footwork and reading coverages, because I feel like I can do it, but I’m not really confident with it.”