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Florida football recruiting: 2020 QB Anthony Richardson commits to Gators

Florida gets a 2020 centerpiece from Friday Night Lights in 2018.

NCAA Football: SEC Football Media Day Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators held their annual midsummer recruiting event — Friday Night Lights — on Friday, and some of the nation’s best high school football players were in attendance.

The first commitment to come of the weekend, though, came not from one of the rising seniors in the Class of 2019 in attendance, but from a 2020 quarterback who could be the centerpiece of Dan Mullen’s third recruiting class.

Anthony Richardson, from Gainesville’s own Eastside High, made his commitment public on Saturday afternoon with a tweet.

The commitment, first reported by Jason Higdon, is Florida’s third for the 2020 class — but it could be the most important, given that Richardson is now set to be the primary or sole quarterback in the class and could end up being the ringleader of it.

Richardson does not yet have a rating from a national recruiting service, but his highlights — and his 6’4” height and lanky frame, which makes his being listed at over 200 pounds somewhat suspect — suggest he has the potential to be the sort of QB who could end up in the four-star range.

Richardson displays a very easy arm motion on video, one that could well be refined to get more gas on his fastball — which seems to have only average zip at the moment — and appears to throw with touch to various levels. He’s also got excellent wheels for a quarterback, and makes plays in the highlights as passer, runner, and receiver.

Also, and obviously, Richardson fits into a mold that Mullen has hewed to when it comes to the prospects he’s recruited at quarterback. Like freshman Emory Jones and 2019 commit Jalon Jones, Richardson has many of the physical tools that one might grant to an ideal athlete for the position in Mullen’s spread offense with significant QB-run concepts, and it is no stretch to envision him thriving as a fit in that scheme.

Given Florida’s significant struggles at the quarterback position in recent years — and how much they have had to do with the twin problems of quarterbacks not fitting their coaches’ schemes and Florida lacking quality depth of players capable of playing the same role — it sure seems to me like a good idea for Mullen to stock up on the kind of QB he likes.