Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson ran a 4.43 40-yard dash, set state records in the vertical and broad jumps, then effortlessly threw the ball 50 yards down the field Saturday. It capped off what he called a “life-changing” week at the NFL scouting combine. He looked back on his time in Indianapolis with veteran writer Vic Tafur.
Being around all the great players and meeting all the great coaches I’ve seen on TV over the years was life changing. Although the schedule was crazy, I had a lot of fun. You wake up early every day and go to bed very late after formal meetings with the teams, but that’s part of the process and I’m not sweating it one bit. I signed up for this so I had no choice but to love it – and I sure did.
I met over 20 teams and each team seemed to be trying to get to know me as a person in a very short period of time. I’m a private person and not as outgoing as other quarterbacks, but I feel like I’ve been able to figure out who I am. Normally, I like to keep things private within my own circle, but this is not a normal situation.
I had heard that there might be some stupid questions from the teams, but they weren’t, so that was a bit of a surprise. My favorite question whenever they ask me about my family. I love talking about my family – that’s why I was able to stay together – and bragging about them is the best.
My mother worked two or three jobs, so I took my younger brother to school every day. He is like my son. I think the teammates were surprised because I was 20 years old. But I am very mature for my age.
Everything leading up to getting on the field Saturday night, I’m not going to say I wasn’t nervous, I was a little anxious to go out there and show what I could do. I feel like my team and I prepared the right way and I was able to go out there and have fun.
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Richardson, 6-foot-4 and 244 pounds, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds, 40.5 inches in the vertical jump and 10 feet, 9 inches in the broad jump. The jumps are the NFL’s combined records for a quarterback.
For the 40, I know I have a great second gear, so it’s about the start for me. Once I felt like I got into the warm-ups, I knew it was going to be a good run. I’m a powerful person and I know I’m going to gain speed and power.
I dec. I started training on the 26th and after the season I took two weeks off to clear my head and then I’m back at it. Dark (Sports Performance in St. Augustine, Fla.) helped me get my body and mind right and helped me with my mechanics. I don’t just rely on my strong arm and use my hips more. Muscle can only get you so far.
When it came to two jumps, I was really disappointed with my numbers. I’ve been jumping over fences, swinging back and forth from a young age, and always looking to see how high I could reach. We took my mom’s mattress out of her room and put it in the living room and went crazy with backwards and everything else.
I thought I’d get 41 (inches) and 11 feet, but hey, I can’t complain too much. They were records. I’m not sure I’ll be trying all of this again at my pro day. I will talk to my team.
It’s fun competing against these other quarterbacks, some I’ve known for four or five years, some longer than that. Going through the last week together, when we are about to fulfill our dreams, is wonderful. We love each other, but we know what’s on the table and we’re crushing on each other.
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I think, with any quarterback, when you see his brother tear it up and tear it up right there, it makes us all feel better. Saturday night was the same. We all congratulated each other.
A reporter the other day I said something about being a project, but I feel like I have nothing to prove to anyone but myself. Trust me, keep believing and keep grinding every day. I can throw a ball, I can run, I can jump high, I’m smart. Everyone knows that.
It’s about keeping the momentum going.
(Photo: Stacey Revere / Getty Images)