Florida quarterback Emory Jones (5) throws a pass as he is pressured by Samford defensive tackle Francisco Jimenez (96) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

McGee talks Jones and Richardson

On Tuesday, quarterbacks coach Garrick McGee discussed Emory Jones’ and Anthony Richardson’s development throughout this season. Overall, McGee is pleased where Jones and Richardson are, but believes they still learning have plenty of room to grow.

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Emory Jones

In his first season as the full time starter, Jones faced a large amount of criticism for his inconsistent performances. Jones’ ability to handle the criticism received praise by McGee, who says Jones’ mother struggled to attend games due to the criticism.

McGee discussed a story Jones told him about his time as a freshman, when fans called for then-quarterback Feleipe Franks to be benched in favor of him.

Against Samford, Jones took control of the starting position. In the 70-52 win, he threw for 464 yards and six touchdowns. His six touchdown passes tied for second all-time in a game in Gator history. Additionally, Jones’ 55o total yards broke Florida’s all-time record for yards in a game, which surpassed Tim Tebow’s previous record of 533 yards.

Anthony Richardson

On the other side, Richardson battled multiple injuries throughout the season. Richardson first injured his hamstring during an 80-yard touchdown rush against USF on Sept. 11. He missed the next two games against Alabama and Tennessee due to the injury.

During his first career start against Georgia, Richardson suffered a concussion in the 34-7 loss, but was cleared to play the following Thursday. However, Richardson injured his knee dancing at the team hotel the very next day, the day before the Gators’ game against South Carolina. Richardson made his return to the field against Samford.

McGee discussed how Richardson’s size and speed gives him a higher risk of injury. Therefore, strength and conditioning coach Nick Savage worked with him to condition his body to run at top speed.

As far as development goes, McGee believes Richardson’s greatest area of improvement is in his maturity.

Specifically, McGee recalled a story about Richardson nearly injure himself in the indoor practice facility.

“I was out at the indoor, and I found out he could have injured himself dancing in the indoor,” McGee said. “We got to learn how to grow up. We can’t afford that in a program like this.”

Although Richardson is still maturing, McGee praised his energy and enthusiasm.

Upcoming schedule

Heading into the Missouri game, head coach Dan Mullen named Jones the starter during his weekly press conference on Nov. 15. Richardson is healthy and will most likely see the field in certain packages.

The Gators (5-5) look to become bowl eligible against the Tigers (5-5) on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 4 p.m. in Columbia.

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