Donning an orange bow tie, redshirt sophomore Anthony Richardson took to the podium on Wednesday for the Southeastern Conference Media Days in Atlanta.
The quarterback has created real estate in the minds of many Gator fans this offseason as expectations surrounding Richardson’s ability to lead this Florida team keeps mounting higher. From the eyes of the media, it seems to also be true around the nation.
Recently named to the Maxwell Watch list by the members of the media, many are expecting Richardson to be a favorite for the Heisman next season. For Richardson, he embraces it all.
“You just gotta take everything in,” Richardson said. “One minute at a time, a second at a time, just embrace it all because a lot of people want to be in my shoes. Just can’t take everything for granted.”
For the off season improvements, Richardson believes not only his throwing ability has been improving, but also his growth as a leader. Truly understanding the role with coach Billy Napier by his side.
“Throughout my years playing football, people always told me I had to be a leader. I never really understood what that means. Now with coach Napier, I understand that means connecting with people, building relationships and bonds. If people can trust you and rely on you, it makes it a lot easier to lead them.”
On his relationship with Napier, Richardson had nothing but praise to say about his new head coach. Finding a lot of similarities with each other.
“You know coach Napier, being the person he is, I feel I can connect with him a lot,” Richardson said. “I see a lot of myself in him. Just the way he reacts to people, treats people, the way he observes things…just connecting with him, it makes it a lot easier for us to be men and understand each other.”
With his time at the Manning Academy in late June, Richardson said he picked from the minds of the Manning brothers Eli and Peyton. Learning on how to be a pro and a lot from others during his time there.
“I learned a lot from Eli and Peyton,” Richardson said. “Just going out there, connecting with different guys. Just trying to pick everyone’s brain to see how they view things. That camp was very helpful and hopefully I can showcase that this year”.
After experiencing the struggles of Florida’s final season with former head coach Dan Mullen last season, Richardson was asked why this season feels different. For him, he feels the bond this team has grown into is the deciding factor.
“Before you can be a football team, you have to be a family,” Richardson said. You have to be able to want to play for your brother, play for your coach.”
As Richardson left the podium, he now returns to campus focused on training camp and the Utah Utes in week one.