The 2024 Senior Bowl has been a week of evaluation for NFL prospects. Not only on the field but off the field. Following each practice, credentialed media has had the opportunity to chop it up with any prospect they can get to. Couple that with Wednesday’s Media Day session, opportunity has been in abundance this week, allowing for valuable conversations about anything under the sun.
There are a couple more chances for interviews before the week’s conclusion. In two days thus far, The Blue Stable has been able to land quality time with lots of top prospects. We will be releasing these via articles as a series, as well as posting the videoed portions to our YouTube channel.
Up first in the series, we talk to wide receiver Ricky Pearsall from the University of Florida.
Ricky Pearsall, WR, Florida
Pearsall is an intriguing wideout prospect who has made himself among the top best-performer talks throughout Senior Bowl week. The 6-foot-1, 193lb Gator product is a versatile receiving option that can be utilized from either the slot or out wide. Pearsall’s diverse route-running ability has been on full display this week, torching defending DBs left and right in both 1-on-1 and team periods.
Going into the week as a Day 3 (rounds 4-7) grade due to his expected average athletic testing come NFL Combine time, Pearsall has proved in a short time that lack of talent will not be the case for any potential fall in draft selection. After transferring from Arizona State to Florida ahead of the 2022 season, Pearsall has blossomed into a reliable receiving threat. Just ask Colts QB Anthony Richardson.
In 2022, Richardson and Pearsall were both first-time starters for the Southeastern Conference Florida Gators. During that season, the two connected to the tune of 33 times for 661 yards and 5 touchdowns. Pearsall’s 5 receiving touchdowns that season remained a career-high following the conclusion of his final collegiate season. So of course I had to ask him about potentially reuniting with a quarterback that he not only thrived with but who he views as generational.
The Blue Stable: Have you thought about a scenario where you’re reunited with Anthony Richardson [in Indianapolis]? Does the possibility excite you?
Pearsall: Oh, that’d be a blessing. The familiarity is there. He saw some of my 1-on-1 reps yesterday and reached out to me and said [to] keep going. He actually texted me a few days before the Senior Bowl wishing me good luck and to go ball. So you know I appreciated that. He’s always going to be one of my good friends regardless but it would be awesome, for sure.
We talked more about their paired success and how it resulted in the aforementioned career-high touchdown output in their lone season together. He acknowledged the result in question with a smile as we pivoted to a brief discussion on one of the Florida Gators Football’s Emmy-winning documentary series on YouTube, This Is… The Swamp.
In a specific episode highlighting Richardson’s success and eventual exodus to pro football, Pearsall was featured, sharing his opinions on the now Colts quarterback. In the episode, Pearsall and another teammate were asked to describe Anthony [Richardson] in one word. After a brief moment of consideration, Pearsall answered swiftly, responding, “Whew.. generational. He’s a generational talent.” When asked to expand on that sentiment, Pearsall responded with more high praise.
The Blue Stable: I had a chance to watch the Anthony Richardson episode of This Is… The Swamp and in your one-word answer to describe Richardson you chose generational. Aside from talent on the field, why does he deserve such praise?
Pearsall: I think mainly the leadership role that he embraced [while] being there. That was during the summer when I arrived [on campus] so it was late in the process. I didn’t know anybody yet and he embraced me. I think that was very important with him being the quarterback and me being a receiver. I had to gain that trust from him, we had to get that timing down together and he embraced me with open arms and I appreciated that. He’s the same guy every day. A very consistent guy and a really good friend.
As you can tell, the renowned praise that Anthony Richardson gets both on and off the field is represented in these answers from Pearsall. Not only did the two connect often with the pigskin, but they developed a long-lasting friendship that goes beyond the football field. A leader and a friend is what Richardson is, but who is Ricky Pearsall the wide receiver?
Not only does Pearsall excel from multiple alignments as a receiving threat, but he is also a proven playmaker from any spot on the offense. Across his five-year college career, Pearsall recorded an impressive 253 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns on 21 carries, a 12-yard rushing average to go with his 23.8 scoring percentage. A uniquely well-rounded talent, I asked Pearsall if there are any players that he’s modeled his game after.
The Blue Stable: With such a wide range of talent at your disposal, are there any players that you model your game after?
Pearsall: I kind of steal a bunch of different things from different receivers and then make it my own. You know, kind of like how I don’t move like Davante [Adams] moves, Davante doesn’t move like Stefon Diggs moves, and Stefon Diggs doesn’t move like Davante Adams moves. So yeah, everybody moves differently in their own ways, and being able to steal and repurpose different attributes from guys is important. I like [to watch] guys like Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs, Cooper Kupp, Amari Cooper, guys like that. I get to steal a lot of their patience at the line and tempos in the middle of their routes.
Needless to say, Pearsall’s versatility makes even more sense when you consider the array of top-tier talent he looks to replicate his game after. His polished talent on the field more than makes up for whatever testing that’ll present itself come NFL Combine and Pro Day time. If Pearsall indeed ends up falling to Day 3 of the NFL Draft, something which seems highly unlikely after such a dominant Senior Bowl week thus far, an NFL organization is going to be very happy for years to come.
As previously stated, this interview article series will continue until we at The Blue Stable are fresh out of content to provide to you. Be sure to follow us on all social media platforms and look out for our Senior Bowl coverage throughout the remainder of the week.
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