Ricky Pearsall returns to Florida for another season

The Florida Gators received good news on Saturday afternoon as WR Ricky Pearsall announced that he will return for his final season of eligibility.

Pearsall took to multiple social media platforms to announce his decision.

“I’m back,” Pearsall wrote on Twitter. “Run it back,” he posted to his Instagram story.

The deadline to declare for the NFL draft is January 16th, so we knew Pearsall’s decision was coming this weekend.

The Gators’ leading receiver totaled 661 receiving yards and five touchdowns on 33 catches. Florida’s staff found different ways to get him the ball as the season progressed. Pearsall added eight rushes for 113 yards and a touchdown. I expect Pearsall to be more involved in the running game next season.

Pearsall’s grade of 80.4 is the 2nd highest on the Gators offense, trailing only O’Cyrus Torrence, according to Pro Football Focus.

The 6-1, 200-pound receiver is an established route runner with verified speed.

Pearsall averaged over 20 yards per catch this season, which is a ridiculous figure for someone out of the slot position. I don’t expect that number to be as high next season, but I do think we will see an uptick in catches.

Anthony Richardson and Ricky Pearsall struggled to connect at times this season. Pearsall saw 58 targets this season, catching just 33, a catch percentage of 56.8%.

Pearsall can benefit from a QB who can work the short and intermediate routes. The short slant was essentially eliminated from the playbook as Richardson struggled to accurately make those throws throughout the season.

Billy Napier got his #1 playmaker at the receiver position back for another year. Out of all the decisions made this offseason, this one was the most important. Pearsall adds a level of creativity, consistency, and spark to the Gators’ offense that’s missing when he’s not on the field.

The WR room consists of Pearsall, Caleb Douglas, Xzaiver Henderson, Ja’Quavion Fraziars, Marcus Burke, Ja’Markis Weston, Thai Chiaokhiao-Bowman, and several talented freshmen receivers.

The addition of a WR via the transfer portal isn’t necessary now, but the staff should consider adding a veteran piece to the room to help bridge the gap of the freshmen coming in.

Pearsall is going to be a 5th year true senior in 2023. If for some reason he plays in less than four games, he’ll be granted another year of eligibility.


Nick Marcinko
Nick is a recent graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in Telecommunications. He is passionate about all sports but specifically baseball and football. Nick interned at Inside the Gators and worked part time with Knights247 before joining the Gator Country family. Nick enjoys spending his free time golfing and at the beach.