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UF's Dan Mullen Praises QB Anthony Richardson Following Scrimmage

The Florida Gators enter the 2021 season with plenty to be excited for, particularly at the quarterback position with Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson.

If you ask about quarterbacks with Gators head coach Dan Mullen, you might want to ask about Anthony Richardson, the team's sophomore quarterback that has already grown into a player that many, including those within the Florida football program, believe heavily in.

During his press conference with the local Florida media on Monday, Mullen was asked a variety of topics, including about Emory Jones, the team's presumptive starting quarterback this year.

When asked a follow-up about the team having two capable quarterbacks, Mullen would pipe up, apparently stunned no one had bothered to ask about the young sophomore in Richardson, noting he didn't like to share information beyond what was asked. 

Well, he did anyway. 

“They’re different," he said of Richardson and Jones. "Nobody asked about Anthony. Anthony is doing an unbelievable job. Anthony had a huge night last night."

The Gators hosted the first of two scrimmages the program will have this fall prior to the season opener against Florida Atlantic on Sept. 4. During the event, Richardson would showcase exactly what Florida fans hoped he could when the program brought him in as a four-star freshman last season.

“He had a huge night last night," Mullen said. "Did really well, made a lot of great decisions. Very accurate. I think he threw three touchdown passes. Obviously is a dynamic runner as well, making good decisions."

For a team's head coach to single out one of its players, particularly Mullen singling out a quarterback, it should be taken seriously. Richardson, 6-foot-4, 236 pounds, has all of the physical traits one would want in a dynamic passer, one that can throw the football from any distance, as well as run.

This year, the sophomore quarterback opted to pick No. 15, and while he - and maybe no - will likely ever live up to the standard of the previous big-time quarterback to sport that number, it does showcase what he believes in his own talents, along with some branding and NIL on the side.

While Richardson had a fantastic scrimmage, it doesn't mean he will get the starting nod over Jones, a redshirt junior who has been molded by Mullen for four years now. But, the quarterback-guru head coach did say he felt comfortable with both, which is a good thing, he says.

"It helps in a way that they have similar skill sets even though they’re a little different in their sets and what they do well," Mullen explained.

"But there are similarities in their ability to create, both with great arm talent, to create and extend plays with their legs. It allows you, you don’t have to have one package or this package, and you can kind of coach in a similar style where if you see this look don’t be afraid to take off running."

Having both quarterbacks entering the contests this year will be huge for Florida. Both players will be deadly as mobile pocket passers, but also present different unique abilities in their own right. An opposing team won't be able to automatically assume one will simply run, or pass.

"If they give you this, take it, right away. If they give us this look we want to take this play every time because this is a problem for them and both of them have that skillset that they can execute."

It will be intriguing to see how the Gators ultimately deploy both Jones and Richardson, but it is clear that Richardson will become an important piece to the puzzle sooner rather than later, and this latest scrimmage is just another step in that direction.