Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson ran a 4.43 40-yard sprint, set positional records in vertical and wide jumps, then effortlessly threw the ball 50 yards downfield on Saturday. He wrapped up what he called a “life-changing” week at the NFL Scouting Combine. He thought back to the time in Indianapolis with senior writer Vic Tafur.
Being surrounded by all the great players and meeting all the great coaches I’ve watched on TV all these years has changed my life. I had a lot of fun, even if the program is crazy. You get up very early every day and go to bed very late after formal team meetings, but it’s all part of the process and I didn’t sweat at all. I signed up for it, so I had no choice but to love it – and I definitely did.
I met over 20 teams, and it seemed like every team was trying to really get to know me as a person in a very short time. I’m a private person and I’m not as present as other quarterbacks, but I feel like I got across who I was. Normally I prefer to keep things private in my own circle, but that’s not a normal situation.
I had heard that there could be some silly and off-the-wall questions from the teams, but there weren’t, so it was a bit of a surprise. My favorite question was whenever they asked about my family. I love talking about my family – that’s why I even got to be at the combine – and bragging about them is the best.
My mother had two or three jobs, so I dressed my younger brother and took him to school every day. He is like my son. I think the teams were surprised to hear that since I’m only 20. But I’m pretty mature for my age.
Everything was gearing up to take the field on Saturday night, and while I’m not going to say I wasn’t nervous, I was a bit eager to get out there and show what I could do. I feel like my team and I prepared in the right way and I was able to just go out there and have fun.
Did Anthony Richardson’s combined NFL workout put him on the line for the No. 1 draft pick?
Richardson, at 6-foot-4 and 244 pounds, ran the 40-yard sprint in 4.43 seconds, cleared 40.5 inches in the vertical jump and 10-foot-9 in the long jump. The jumps were combined NFL records for a quarterback.
As for the 40, I know I have great second gear, so that’s a starting question for me. Once I felt like I started warming up, I knew it was going to be a good race. I am a powerful person and I knew I was going to gain momentum and energy.
I started training on December 26, took a few weeks off after the end of the season to clear my head, then resumed straight away. Tork (Sports Performance in St. Augustine, FL) helped me get my body and mind back and helped me with my mechanics. I use my hips more rather than just relying on my strong arm. Muscle can only take you so far.
As for the two jumps, I was actually disappointed with my numbers. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been jumping over and off fences and doing backflips on swings, in addition to always seeing how high I could climb. We used to take my mom’s mattress out of her bedroom and put it in the living room and go crazy with backflips and everything.
I thought I would get 41 (inches) and 11 feet, but hey, can’t complain too much. These were records. I don’t know if I’ll try everything again on my Pro Day. I will discuss it with my team.
It was fun competing against these other quarterbacks, some I’ve known for four or five years and some even longer. Spending the last week together, when we’re about to live our dreams, it’s very cool. We love each other but we know what’s on the table and we cringe and want to fight.
NFL winners and losers combined: Who’s up after a week in Indianapolis?
I think any quarterback, when he sees his brother throwing him and tearing him up there, it makes us all feel good. And that was the case on Saturday night. We all congratulate each other.
A reporter the other day says something about me as a project, but I don’t feel like I have anything to prove to anyone but myself. Believe in me, keep the faith and keep working every day. I can throw the ball, I can run, I can jump high and I’m smart. Everybody knows it.
It’s all about keeping the momentum going.
(Photo: Stacy Revere/Getty Images)