Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson speaks during NCAA college football Southeastern Conference Media Days, Wednesday, July 20, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Anthony Richardson Pens Letter to GMs Ahead of NFL Draft

With the NFL Draft just under two weeks away, attention remains on Anthony Richardson, who has been a hot topic ever since the NFL Combine. With a mix of positive and negative feedback coming back on Richardson, he took one last opportunity to share his story with league executives in a letter he wrote in The Player’s Tribune.

In his letter titled “Dear NFL GMs,” Richardson focuses on how his love for the game started, how it developed and why he will never be outworked.

Richardson Opens Letter Discussing Love for the Game

Richardson started his letter by detailing where his love for the game came from.

“It all probably starts with my Uncle Tanka,” he wrote. “I wouldn’t be here writing this letter right now if it weren’t for him…He was serious when it came to football. That was his passion.”

Richardson spent several years growing up in Miami, where his uncle began to support his young playing career.

“He just didn’t want me to lose my confidence,” he said. “But, yeah, football was always just a big part of the relationship we had.”

Shortly after Richardson moved to Gainesville, he received news that his uncle had passed away. While it was a devastating loss, Richardson used it to fuel his desire to succeed.

“Now I got no choice but to make it,” he said. “I know he’s up there looking down on me, and even though he can’t be here to push me, he doesn’t have to. I’M pushing me. I’m going to do it for him.”

It was at that point that Richardson promised he was going to make it to the NFL. Many years later, he is just under two weeks away from being a potential top pick in the NFL Draft.

Life at Home Preparing for Life in the NFL

NFL analysts and critics alike have noted that Richardson might not be ready to step into a larger role in the NFL just yet. However, Richardson refers to his hard work and dedication, a product of his homelife growing up, as a reason that he will succeed in the league.

“I keep hearing that the NFL isn’t like college. It’s a different level. It’s more mental, he said. “All due respect, that’s nothing new for me — it’s the same in life. If you want to eat, you gotta work for it. I know all about that.”

He proceeds to go into how as he was growing up, sometimes his family did not have food or new clothes. They did not have the best apartment, nor could he attend all of the camps that other prospects were able to.

“But not everybody had a mom like mine,” he continued. “And I’m glad that’s the life I got dealt, the one God gave me, because it’s made me who I am today. It put something different inside of me. It’s given me a different drive and a different vision.”

Richardson added on by discussing how football gave him an opportunity to look up to people and find mentors.

“I learned every life lesson through playing this game.,” he said. “Being a part of football teams gave me a chance to look up to people and find mentors, because my dad wasn’t always there.”

He added that his football coaches, at all levels, not only taught him the game but also the importance of school and working hard for everything.

“That gave football a bigger purpose to me,” Richardson said. “It was bigger than a sport. It’s always been a part of who I am.”

Richardson Talks Gators’ Influence

“It really clicked for me in the middle of my freshman year,” Richardson said. “Watching Kyle Trask helped my game a lot.”

Richardson spent his true freshman season behind Heisman Trophy finalist Kyle Trask, who led Florida to one of their most successful seasons in recent history. He learned a lot behind Trask and the relationship he shared with Dan Mullen.

“One of the best things I learned from watching him is, if you know your offense like the back of your hand, it’s easy to expose another defense,” he said.

He has taken what he learned from Trask and tried to use those lessons to develop his own game. He also pointed to the fact that he had a different quarterback coach each season during his time at Florida. Still, he does not use that as an excuse.

“Even though I didn’t always get the result I wanted, I was always looking for adjustments and solutions,” he said.

AR Ends Letter with a Big Promise

As the letter came to a close, Richardson acknowledged what he hears from the critics. Comments on his accuracy, touch and decision-making. While he mentioned that he does not pay attention to “all the noise,” he does know the negatives people have focused on.

“All I gotta say is: Watch how hard I work,” he said. “In my mind, I can do anything with the football in my hand — but I know that no one will ever work harder than me to improve…My family sacrificed too much for me to not give everything to this game.”

Richardson is not afraid to say he will outwork all of his competitors. He will hope to hear his name called on April 27, when the NFL Draft begins.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper has Richardson going third overall to the Tennessee Titans (via a mock trade with Arizona). Other mock drafts have seen Richardson as high as first overall, but also falling towards the bottom of the top-10.

He closed his letter with one final promise.

“So, to all the coaches and GMs who are reading this: See you at the draft,” he said. “If you call the name Anthony Richardson, I promise that you won’t regret it.”

About Matt Quartararo

Matt is a fourth-year journalism major specializing in sports media and is also completing a sports management certificate. Starting in the Fall 2023 semester, Matt has served as a sports coordinator with WRUF. He also participates in sports broadcasting, providing play-by-play for a variety of Gators sports.

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