Is Anthony Richardson The Next Lamar Jackson? Maybe

Sep 2, 2022, 10:37 AM
anthony richardson florida gators quarterback...
TAMPA, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 11: Anthony Richardson #15 of the Florida Gators rushes for a fourth quarter touchdown during a game against the South Florida Bulls at Raymond James Stadium on September 11, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah heads to The Swamp this Saturday afternoon in a huge game against the Florida Gators. It is big because there are sky-high expectations for the Utes and they are opening up against an SEC foe.

The Gators are coming in with a sense of newness with Billy Napier as its head coach, plus there is starting quarterback Anthony Richardson.

There is a lot of pendulum swinging when discussing how the former four-star recruit will perform at the college level. Richardson has just 39 completed passes at the college level but he is expected to have a high ceiling with some talk that he could be a first-round, if not a top-10, NFL  Draft pick once he leaves Florida.

The hype has been all over the place and that includes Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham who gave him a glowing comparison to a former NFL MVP, Heisman Trophy winner and a national championship-winning quarterback.

“You have to account for the QB in the run game every single down. The guy reportedly has 4.3 speed. At that size, it’s incredible. It’s Cam Newton-ish type of numbers with his physical stature and his ability to run,” Whittingham said during his press conference this week. “That’s something that the defensive staff is well aware of and that’s gotta be taken into account in virtually everything you do.”

That is a lot of praise for a guy who has not even thrown 70 passes in his collegiate career. Richardson’s coach, Napier, wants everyone to pump the breaks on anointing him as the next big Florida Gator quarterback.

“I know we all want to put a crown on his head,” Napier said last week. “I mean, the guy has completed 39 passes in his career. The great quarterbacks at the University of Florida, they complete 39 in one game.”

Richardson is really a big unknown with little game film.

Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times joined Unrivaled this week and mentioned Richardson’s brilliance and flash comparing him to a different NFL MVP, but also provided some context for the level of competition he faced to look so good.

“The good is that he can make plays. Watching the highlights of him against Florida Atlantic. He had a play or two – Lamar Jackson may not be the best player I’ve seen with my own eyes but he is on that shortlist – Anthony had a play or two that reminded me of Lamar Jackson,” Baker said. “His arm is really good, too. He made some legit NFL throws.

“You can see the flashes where this guy looks incredible and you can totally buy the top 10 hype. However, it’s six touchdowns last year to five interceptions, that is the sample size. Go back and look at the five interceptions and four were pretty darn bad. Look at the competition… his great games were against FAU, USF, and Vanderbilt, three very bad teams. He did well off the bench against LSU but they ultimately lost and he threw a bad pick that sealed that defeat.”

All Utah can do is go off the film they have of Richardson last year and also what Napier did during his time at Louisiana to prepare for this game. Fully expect defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley and Whittingham to draw up a defensive scheme to attempt to fool Richardson who seemingly has all the talent in the world but is still very inexperienced.

This defensive matchup will be the toughest Richardson has seen in his young career with the Gators. He likely will make some plays and also some blunders when he tries to do too much or the Utes force him into uncomfortable positions.

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

College Football

BYU Football, Puka Nacua...
Mitch Harper

BYU Football To Wear Black Uniform Against Notre Dame In Las Vegas

New uniform and helmet for BYU football against Notre Dame.
10 hours ago
BYU Notre Dame, Allegiant Stadium...
Mitch Harper

No. 16 BYU Sets Sights On Las Vegas Clash With Notre Dame

BYU has waited nine years for the third meeting in a series with the Notre Dame Irish.
10 hours ago
Bronco Mendenhall, Colorado Buffaloes, Coaching Search...
Mitch Harper

Bronco Mendenhall Surfaces On Hot Lists For Colorado Search

Early big board projections for the Colorado search like the possibility of Bronco Mendenhall being a candidate.
1 day ago
Clark Phillips III - Utah Utes vs. Oregon State...
Michelle Bodkin

Clark Phillips III Earns National Recognition For Performance

Utah cornerback Clark Phillips III put everyone on high alert during the Rose Bowl that he's one of the best players currently in college football.
1 day ago
Micah Bernard - Utah Utes vs. BYU Cougars...
Michelle Bodkin

Utah, BYU Move Up In Latest AP Poll Release

Slow and steady wins the race and that is exactly what Utah and BYU are doing with their positioning in the AP Top 25 Poll.
1 day ago
Kyle Ireland

Utah Tech Unable To Keep Pace With Abilene Christian

The Utah Tech Trailblazers failed to keep pace and experience a home loss to the Abilene Christian Wildcats.
2 days ago
Is Anthony Richardson The Next Lamar Jackson? Maybe