Redshirt Report: Anthony learned valuable lessons on and off field

Jan 10, 2021 | 0 comments


During the beginning weeks of the off-season, Inside the Gators will take an in-depth look at how last season went for Florida's 2020 signees. Normally, the focus is on those who redshirted, but since the NCAA mandated that the 2020 season was 'uncounted' as far as eligibility is concerned, essentially every player redshirted.

To kick off our Redshirt Report series, today, we focus on how this past season went for quarterback Anthony Richardson.

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Anthony Richardson arrived at the University of Florida as the hometown hero out of Gainesville's Eastside High School, where he played for four years on varsity and garnered multiple offers before signing with the Gators.


Richardson spent this past season as Florida's third-string quarterback, as the understudy to starter Kyle Trask and backup Emory Jones.

While learning the ropes and adapting to life as a college quarterback, Richardson had the added benefit of being able to lean on his former high school head coach, Cedderick Daniels, for advice throughout the season.

Daniels, now the co-defensive coordinator at Hawthorne High School, said Richardson acclimated well to college life due to his Gainesville roots. Unlike many college freshmen, there wasn't a lot of homesickness to deal with because he could come and go from home as he pleased.

“He’s adapted well,” he said. “He’s done a good job of separating the two: the outside world and the campus world.”

According to Daniels, there’s nothing else for him to teach Richardson on the field, so he's resigned himself to help serve as a mentor off of it.

“I’m his life coach now.” said Daniels, before adding that he even gave Richardson a ribbing for his Arkansas mid-game “Trask for Heisman” tweet and helped the young quarterback understand things like that can’t happen.

Richardson already possesses the physical tools that could eventually lead him to become an effective tool in Dan Mullen’s offense as a runner. Daniels said during his first year on campus Richardson has put on roughly 15 to 20 pounds, and currently is close to measuring in at 240 pounds.

Mid-game tweets aside, Daniels also noticed growth in Richardson’s maturity level. Daniels recalled a text conversation between the two of them before Florida’s first game of the season.

Richardson related to his former coach that he felt both nervous and excited, but overall thought he had let people down. However, Daniels assured him it was the opposite: Richardson was making the community proud.

“He’s matured a lot and understands he has to go in and earn everything from here on out,” Daniels said. “He’s really taken to studying the playbook, studying the game, and trying to be on top of everything.”

Sitting behind two quarterbacks, including one in the midst of a Heisman Trophy campaign, understandably, Richardson rarely saw action as a freshman. 

Despite appearing in four games, he only attempted two passes, completing one of them for 27-yards, a touchdown – while also tossing an interception.

In addition, he rushed seven times for 61 yards.

Daniels believes that the lack of action might have actually helped Richardson in the long run.

“When you get to sit back and actually watch the game it makes you grow,” Daniels said. “When you’re a star in high school, a star in Little League you’re always used to being a star, and all of a sudden you’re not. It kind of forces you to step back. And it makes you hungry. Like you want to be on the field right now.”

Now, Richardson might possibly throw his hat in the ring for the starting job. Daniels consistently told Richardson he thinks if Jones didn’t beat out Trask prior to the 2020 season it’ll be wide open for him to compete in the spring

“He’s a diehard competitor,” according to Daniels. “I can guarantee you he’s coming in with the mindset of ‘I’m going to compete against Emory (Jones) and may the best man win.’ There’s no other (approach) to it.”

And Daniels is sure Jones will hold the same mindset.

He always told Richardson to not let go of the opportunities he gets no matter when they come. And there will be opportunities abound for Richardson from this point forward.

Tags: Player

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