Florida receiver Ricky Pearsall is on the verge of achieving a milestone that has eluded the Gators for more than two decades. The fifth-year senior, who transferred from Arizona State, has emerged as the team's most reliable player during the current season.
With 64 catches for 948 yards and four touchdowns, Pearsall is only 52 yards away from becoming Florida's first 1,000-yard receiver since Taylor Jacobs in 2002. This comes as a surprising drought for a program that has won two national championships and produced notable wideouts like Chad Jackson, Andre Caldwell, Percy Harvin, Riley Cooper, Demarcus Robinson, Van Jefferson, and Kadarius Toney.
Pearsall, who woke up Monday and immediately texted his new quarterback, Max Brown, stating, "1 is always open," is optimistic about reaching the milestone in the team’s regular-season finale against in-state rival and fifth-ranked Florida State (11-0) on Saturday night.
"It’s right there, 52 yards away," Pearsall said. "But I’m more than a personal goal kind of guy. Obviously, team goals override that for myself. I think the W is going to feel a lot better than any personal achievement to me, but I know within myself that I’m a thousand-yard guy. Whether I get it or not, I’m a thousand-yard guy.”
Pearsall, a key target for Wisconsin transfer Graham Mertz, who is currently sidelined, is also impressed by the performance of Max Brown, who replaced Mertz late in the third quarter during a recent game. Despite the Gators' recent struggles, Pearsall remains confident, stating, “Inside that locker room, I think there’s just a fire burning for us because we need to get a win. It’s about that time. It’s due time to get a win for us and for the university and the program.”
The upcoming game against Florida State is crucial for the Gators, who need a victory to become bowl eligible. Pearsall, set to participate in Florida’s “senior day” ceremony, has been a standout performer with 97 receptions for 1,609 yards and nine touchdowns in his two years with the team.
Coach Billy Napier expressed his appreciation for Pearsall's consistency, leadership, and values, predicting a successful professional career for the talented receiver. As Pearsall aims for the historic milestone, Florida fans eagerly await the outcome of the intense matchup against Florida State.
Image courtesy: 247 sports