Kyle Trask: Gators’ QB Anthony Richardson ‘the LeBron James of football’

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Florida newcomer Anthony Richardson impressed fellow quarterback Kyle Trask from the jump.

Following Richardson’s enrollment in January 2020, an annual offseason basketball day among the football team became a showcase of the 17-year-old’s considerable athletic skills.

“I always like to describe him he’s like the LeBron James of football,” Trask marveled Thursday by phone from Tampa, where he is in his first NFL season with the Buccaneers. “I know he can do all these crazy dunks. I think he won the dunk competition his first semester on campus.

“You could just see see how athletic he is.”

Coach Dan Mullen’s Gators are glad the 6-foot-4, 236-pound Richardson’s ability on the hardwood pales to what he can do the football field.

Entering Saturday’s Week 5 visit to Kentucky, Richardson had missed two games with a hamstring strain after bursting on the scene FAU and USF. The 19-year-old from Gainesville accounted for big-play touchdowns on four of eight series and hurdled a pair of would-be tacklers during an 11-yard run against FAU.

Trask, a 2020 Heisman finalist and second-round NFL draft pick in April, expects big things from Richardson along with starter Emory Jones. Jones served as Trask’s backup the past two seasons and the two shared a quarterback room for three years.

Trask can only imagine the possibilities for the duo working with the offensive-minded Mullen.

“He’s a supersmart coach,” Trask said. “He’s going to figure out the best possible way for this team to win, whatever that may be.”

Many onlookers wonder whether Richardson evolves into Mullen’s best option at quarterback.

Based on shows of support on social media, the Gators’ redshirt freshman and Jones, a redshirt junior, share a strong bond and mutual respect, while embracing a two-QB approach.

Coming off a strong performance against Tennessee, Jones said Monday he was “definitely excited” to have Richardson available for the Kentucky game.

Trask and Jones also shared a team-first mentality, though it became evident Trask was poised for a special 2020 season after he opened with six touchdown throws at Ole Miss. He finished the season with a school-record 43.

The performance earned Trask a job with the reigning Super Bowl champions. Each day, he works with legendary quarterback Tom Brady, offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, a 10-year NFL veteran quarterback, and head coach Bruce Arians, who tutored Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger.

Mullen and Arians have a similar philosophies, Trask said.

“They don’t overcomplicate things,” he said. “They want to attack the weaknesses of the defense and build a game plan around that.”

Richardson’s dual-threat abilities certainly will give Mullen options. When healthy, Richardson’s impact has been a slam dunk.

This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Edgar Thompson at egthompson@orlandosentinel.com or follow him on Twitter at @osgators.

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