Florida adds impact transfer WR Ricky Pearsall

In its effort to supplement a wide receiver room that head coach Billy Napier said lacked depth throughout the spring, Florida added Arizona State wide receiver transfer Ricky Pearsall, who announced his decision to join the Gators via Twitter on Saturday afternoon.

Pearsall, who took an official visit to Gainesville from April 29 to May 1, chose the Gators over his only other finalist, Oregon. Pearsall is likely to immediately crack the team’s top four receivers, joining Justin Shorter, Trent Whittemore and Xzavier Henderson.

“Right away after the visit, we talked as a family and we were just like, ‘Man, that’s going to be a hard place to beat,’” Pearsall told Swamp247 earlier this month. “I think the coaches and the rest of the staff did a really good job hosting us and making us feel that it could be a possible home. They were all really genuine people and I think that was the main part that my family was interested in. You could tell that they weren’t just in it for the business. They made me feel like they cared for me and my development.”

Pearsall also lauded the Gators’ hospitality and attention to detail, describing it as something he has “never experienced before on any visit.” In addition to conversations with several members of the team’s coaching staff, he was offered an in-depth tour of the school’s football and academic facilities and had arranged conversations with some of Florida’s players, including sophomore quarterback Anthony Richardson.

The former three-star wide receiver said he built a strong connection with Florida wide receivers coach Keary Colbert, who he was already somewhat familiar with due to Colbert’s time as wide receivers coach at USC.

“I knew going into this that coach KC was a really good coach just because I knew of him,” Pearsall said. “I knew his background being at USC and I know he’s put dudes in the League and that’s something I’m looking for because that’s the end goal. I knew that of him which was a huge plus. Another big plus was how detailed he is. He looks at every little detail of being a receiver and development. That’s huge.”

Pearsall was the Sun Devils’ leading receiver a year ago when he recorded 48 receptions, 580 yards and four touchdowns as a third-year sophomore. He also ran the ball six times for 44 yards and a touchdown and completed both of his pass attempts on trick plays for 59 yards and a score through the air.

Though he is changing teams, Pearsall is aiming to build on the momentum he generated on the field last season. As such, a team’s offensive scheme and how he fits into it played significant roles in his decision. Pearsall said he watched Florida, Auburn and Oregon’s spring games to gain an understanding of each school’s schematics as well as their quarterback play. Florida seemed to stand out immediately in that respect.

“I got a good sense of the scheme [Florida] runs,” he said. “That was a huge question for me. A big thing for me that’s going to decide where I go is the system. That’s most important and we talked a lot about it. Coach Napier is the play-caller, the head coach and a former receivers coach. That right there shows how good of a situation it would be if I choose to go there.”

As things stand, the Gators are expected to have 11 scholarship wide receivers on their roster in 2022, including Pearsall.

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