Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson has decided to forego his remaining years of eligibility for the 2023 NFL Draft. Richardson will not play in the 2022 Las Vegas Bowl against No. 14 Oregon State to maintain his health and start preparing for the draft.
“After much prayer, thought and conversation with my family, I have decided to forfeit my upcoming bowl game and waiver of 2023 NFL Draft eligibility for my remaining college years,” Richardson wrote in a statement. “Having taken the next step on this journey, I will always be an alligator and strive to make alligator nation proud.”
Richardson has become a fan favorite in his hometown of Gainesville, Florida over the past two seasons, starting 13 games and making 20 appearances for the Gators. He showed great potential as a bench and fifth last season and seemed poised to cash in during the Week 1 game in Florida when he posted 274 yards and three touchdowns to get ahead of No. 8 Utah at The Swamp.
However, Richardson was notably inconsistent in his first full season as a starter, completing 53.8% of his passes for 2,549 yards, 17 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. He added 654 yards and nine kicking touchdowns, becoming one of the top running backs in college football, although he often chose not to run on the ball at key moments.
The Gators went 6-6 during Richardson’s only season as a starter, the first under coach Billy Napier.
Richardson is a somewhat controversial candidate for the NFL Draft as an inexperienced and inconsistent college quarterback. Ultimately, his physical ability immediately catches the eye, making him a potential first-round pick in the NFL Draft. CBS Sports NFL Draft Analystto 16th in his pseudo-draft. Others have it outside of the first round.
“[Richardson]”This is one of the most promising players in this class,” wrote Ryan Wilson, draft analyst for CBS Sports. “Yes, he has little experience, but his physical skills are rare.”
Richardson has 393 passes at the collegiate level, but his legs give him an edge in the NFL. Over the past two seasons, AR has rushed for 1,055 yards and thrown 12 touchdowns. He is a project, but an instrumental choice with high potential.
Where will Florida go next?
The Gators knew Richardson’s departure was a possibility, but that leaves the quarterback room as a major question mark ahead of 2023. The only other quarterback to pass in 2022 was Jalen Kitna, who appeared as an understudy when the Ohio State transfer injured Jack Miller. thumb before the season and failed to finish second on the depth table. However, Kitna wasafter he was arrested on charges of possession of child pornography.
With the top two quarterbacks gone, Miller or Kyle Engel can start the bowl game. Miller, a former blue-chip recruit, didn’t pass to the Gators. Florida also has a commitment from elite four-star quarterback Jayden Rashada, who was ranked 17th overall by 247Sports in his 2023 class rankings. Florida could also be active on the transfer portal to try and add some quarterback depth in 2023, even if Rashada or Miller end up winning the job.