How Can Ricky Pearsall Boost the Florida Gators Offense?
Florida exited its first spring football camp under Billy Napier understanding the roster was in need of a talent influx, particularly at the wide receiver position. It's taken some time for the Gators to land impact players from the transfer portal, at least with the expectation of potentially double-digit acquisitions in mind as Napier suggested in March. So far, only three portal prospects have selected UF since Napier's plea for talent: A junior college offensive tackle in Jordan Herman, a preferred walk-on defensive tackle in Keenan Landry and a wide receiver in Ricky Pearsall. Herman and Landry aren't likely to take on roles for the Gators in 2022, but Pearsall's addition stands out as a major need having been addressed ahead of Napier's first season in charge. Pearsall, who broke out with Arizona State as a junior in 2021, should offer UF what was arguably its biggest need exiting the spring: Play-making ability at wide receiver. Florida has some talent at the position, certainly, but most of the receivers recruited by UF's former coaching staff share similar skill-sets and physical makeups. Pearsall displayed over three years with the Sun Devils that he can do just that.
As a junior, Pearsall hauled in 48 catches for 580 yards and four touchdowns. In the same game, Pearsall took a screen pass 65 yards for a touchdown, maneuvering from the left-side numbers where he caught the ball to the left seam of the field to outrun four defenders in the area and in pursuit. Against Arizona, Pearsall showed off similar breakaway speed on a catch behind the line of scrimmage, motioning pre-snap while aligned in the backfield and catching a pass on a shoot route before speeding 14 yards to the sidelines and into the endzone near the right pylon. His other touchdown, a 30-yard catch and run against Colorado where he made three defenders down the field, was a back-side screen on a double-pass concept where Pearsall once again displayed great speed and shiftiness with the ball in his hands. Additionally, Pearsall has shown enough to make defenses respect him as a rushing threat. The Sun Devils utilized Pearsall's presence as a rusher to pull defenders his way via motion, opening up lanes for a standard handoff on the opposite side of the field. He's even made an impact throwing the ball, completing three-of-three passes for 11 yards and a touchdown over the last two seasons.
It's worth noting that, once a year exactly, Napier had a running back or wide receiver throw a pass in Louisiana's offense during his four seasons with the Ragin' Cajuns. Pearsall has made a name for himself as an uber-versatile receiver who can make game-changing plays with his hands, his legs and even his arm. His route-running and breakaway prowess should greatly benefit starting quarterback Anthony Richardson, while receivers such as Whittemore, Justin Shorter, Xzavier Henderson or perhaps a younger prospect who has yet to emerge. Expect Pearsall to step in and compete for a starting role in the Gators' offense this fall. Stay tuned to AllGators for continuous coverage of Florida Gators football, basketball and recruiting.
Read full article at Sports Illustrated
How to Watch Missouri vs.
- Game Day: Saturday, November 20, 2021.
- Game Time: 4:00 PM ET.
- TV: SECN.
- Stadium: Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium.
- Live Stream on fuboTV:Start with a 7-day free trial!
How to watch Alabama vs.
- Top plays:Alabama vs. ...
- Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
- Estimated game time: 5 p.m. CT, Saturday, May 15.
- TV: ESPN2 (The broadcast is starting on ESPNEWS)
- Online live stream: ESPN.com/watch.