Gators’ WR Ricky Pearsall led the team in receiving yards in week one, catching four passes for 67 yards in his Gators’ debut.
Pearsall didn’t get to this point without hard work and repetition. Pearsall has a daily routine that most people simply wouldn’t be able to complete. Pearsall hits the JUGS machine twice a day, once to start his day and once to end it. The catch is that he doesn’t leave the field until he’s caught 100 passes in a row.
“You gotta get in 100 catches each time. I mean, in a row,” Pearsall said. “That’s how I look at it. I gotta get 100 in a row on the JUGS machine before I can leave. So if I drop one, I got to restart.”
Pearsall says that repetition is what turned him into the player he is today.
“Just repetition, to be honest. Just going out there every day with the same mindset that I’m going to get better at something,” Pearsall said. “I think that’s something that is necessary for a receiver to have, you know what I mean. Go out in a day and know exactly what you’re going to get better at that day. I think I’ve stacked days on days of doing so, and I mean it just developed.”
“I’ve always been a hard worker. So I think that’s something that’s really going for me is my work ethic,” Pearsall said. “I think that just over time has developed, all these things. I was a freshman in college. I actually switched to receiver my sophomore year in high school, so that’s when I really started running routes and stuff like that and taking it serious. Ever since then, just going out there every single day with the same mindset that I’m going to get better at something. You know, one percent every day is what I live by.”
Pearsall grew up in Tempe, Arizona and previously attended Arizona State University. Pearsall had success with the Sun Devils, posting 580 yards and four touchdowns in his final season before transferring to the Gators.
“It took a lot for me to pick all my stuff up and leave,” Pearsall said. “But I know this is a really good opportunity for me and I know I can do it. I knew it was the right time to do it and it’s a blessing to be here and this is home now.”
Pearsall talked over his decision to transfer with his parents, before ultimately deciding on the Gators.
Pearsall has a close relationship with his father. When Pearsall was little his father would give him a skittle for every football he caught. Pearsall said he still receives long paragraphs every day after practice from his dad. Unfortunately for Pearsall, I don’t believe he still receives skittles.
“My dad is everything. He’s my biggest critic,” Pearsall said. “What he has said and taught me has taken me really far. It’s really important because not a lot of people out there have this and it’s truly a blessing.”
Pearsall said he’s going to have his parents in the stands at every home game this season.
One of the main reasons Pearsall chose the Gators was Florida’s QB Anthony Richardson.
“He’s a tremendous athlete,” Pearsall said. “He can throw the ball. Everything you want in a quarterback, he has.”
When Pearsall arrived, it was obvious that he provided something that the Gators’ wide receiver room was lacking. He’s an above average route runner, quick off the line of scrimmage, and as you can guess, doesn’t drop the football.
Pearsall quickly started to emerge as the Gators top receiver before suffering a bone bruise in week two of fall camp.
“It was very unfortunate because I just got here and that was my second week of practice. And it was really unfortunate because I wanted to be out there with my guys,” Pearsall said. “I just got here and I want to show everybody what I got. And I felt like I was only there for a few days and I couldn’t really show everybody what I got.”
The injury news sent Gator Nation into a spiral. Thankfully, Pearsall was able to return for the end of fall camp.
Despite missing almost half of fall camp, Pearsall has proved his worth to this Gators team. Pearsall played in 40 snaps for the Gators in week one, the third most in the receiver room. This was largely due to the formations that the Gators were in.
Pearsall is looking to build on his week one performance this weekend against the Kentucky Wildcats.