Anthony Richardson, Coach Napier and Jack Miller III on day six of fall camp. Photo by Ellie Shreve.

Napier Evaluates Quarterback Talent on Day Six of Fall Camp

Florida football coach Billy Napier spoke to the media on Tuesday, ahead of the sixth day of fall camp. Napier spoke on the amount of quarterback talent, which was showcased just hours later at practice. 

All Eyes on Anthony

While all eyes are on starting quarterback Anthony Richardson, he continues to demonstrate his dedication to the game. The Gainesville native has the faith of the full team behind him as teammates and staff continue to commend his ability to step into the leadership role. 

Napier was quick to offer praise for Richardson during Tuesday’s media availability. 

Richardson introduced fans to his promising potential with the explosive plays that he brought to the field during the 2021 season. After putting in the work to come back from knee surgery, and a prior hamstring injury that limited him last season, the redshirt sophomore has become much more confident and vocal in his game. 

“With Anthony, there’s no question that his confidence and comfort level with the verbiage, with the communication, I think he’s more concise, we’ve seen him be much more accurate,” Napier said. “You know, the old adage we’re on the same page? I think we’re making progress to being on the same sentence.”

The outcome of Florida’s 2022 season is truly riding on Richardson’s back, as he leads the Gators into a new era under Napier.  

Coach Napier works with Richardson during the sixth day of 2022 fall camp. Photo by Ellie Shreve.

Miller Looking Sharp 

Napier also spoke highly of backup quarterback Jack Miller III. The redshirt freshman took some first-team reps on Monday and showed how capable he is of contributing to the Gators behind Richardson this season. Napier said Miller is doing “extremely well” while adding praise on his progression since the spring. 

Development from Kitna

Napier continued on to discuss how impressed he has been with third-team quarterback Jalen Kitna. “I would say Kitna is the player I’ve seen the most growth in from spring practice,” Napier said. He went on to compliment how Kitna has thrown the ball with much more consistency and accuracy. Kitna had a small procedure done yesterday but is expected to return to practice soon.  .

“I think we’ve got two players that can play winning football and we’re working hard on getting a third one ready,” Napier said. 

Performance During Tuesday’s Practice 

The Gators were back in the heat of fall camp for a sixth day after practicing indoors the past three days. The team took the grass in full gear for the first time. 

Richardson and Miller were both looking very sharp during the media viewing portion of Tuesday’s practice. It is evident that Richardson has been developing his passing. Miller’s arm has also come a long way since the spring. On Tuesday, the two consistently completed passes with precision.

Rookie quarterback Max Brown and walk-on Kyle Engel were also seen putting in the work during Tuesday’s viewing period. 

While observing the quarterbacks, a few other players really stood out on the receiving end. Ricky Pearsall’s performance at fall camp is certainly living up to the praise of his fellow teammates and staff. Above, Pearsall can be seen running a crisp route where he utilized quick footwork on a chop step to remain in bounds after catching a pass from Engel.  In a late development, it appears Pearsall has suffered a foot injury in practice and he is reportedly out indefinitely.

Another receiver who stood out on Tuesday was Trent Whittemore. Below is a clip of Whittemore making an impressive one-handed catch, and arguably the best play of the practice. 

 

About Ellie Shreve

Ellie is a third-year sports and media journalism major at the University of Florida.

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