Ricky Pearsall from Florida is prepared to leave behind his well-known catch and incorporate NFL moments into his highlight reel

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Ricky Pearsall (Credits: NBC Sports)

Ricky Pearsall became famous for his incredible catch, which continued to gain attention in recent weeks.

His remarkable moment is likely to draw even more interest during the NFL draft.

The former standout player from Florida is among a group of about twelve receivers expected to be chosen in the first two rounds of the draft, starting on Thursday night. He’s widely considered a second-round pick in what seems to be the deepest pool of receivers in many years.

When Pearsall’s name is called, everyone will remember his remarkable one-handed catch against Charlotte last September at the Swamp. It brought fans to their feet and quickly became an internet sensation.

“A lot of people recognize me for that catch,” Pearsall mentioned. “But there’s more to see on the tape. I’ve made many catches besides that one. But yeah, many people bring it up.”

Even NFL team managers, coaches, and scouts are impressed by Pearsall’s skills. He left a strong impression during the Senior Bowl in early February and again at the NFL Combine a month later. His performances were so impressive that he chose to watch Florida’s pro day in late March instead of participating.

Ricky Pearsall (Credits: Yard Barker)

“I kept going back and forth, to be honest,” he said. “It was something that I had to really think about for sure. Just talking to my team and my people in my corner and my foundation, we just thought it was the best idea for myself.”

It came down to this: what else did Pearsall have to prove? He covered the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds at the combine, tying him for 10th among receivers.

He led the position group in the three-cone drill and ranked third with a 42-inch vertical jump. He put up 17 reps on the bench press (225 pounds), which tied him for sixth, and nearly reached 11 feet in the broad jump.

Throw in flawless routes and sure-handed catches, and there wasn’t anything more the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Arizona native could have done to improve his draft stock.

“It feels good to be able to show those kinds of things,” he said. “But, for me, I just want to show I’m a great football player.”

Pearsall finished his senior year with 65 receptions for 965 yards and four touchdowns, falling short of becoming the first Florida receiver since Taylor Jacobs in 2002 to reach the 1,000-yard milestone.

He ended up with 159 catches for 2,420 yards and 14 touchdowns in five seasons, the first three at Arizona State. He also ran for five scores and threw a TD pass.

Ricky Pearsall

“This guy is a very underrated player,” Florida coach Billy Napier said. “He’s bigger than you think. He’s more explosive than you think. He’s highly skilled. He can get open at the line. He can separate at the top of the route. And he’s got fantastic ball skills and hand selection.”

Pearsall caught passes from Anthony Richardson and Jayden Daniels. He played alongside Brandon Aiyuk and Johnny Wilson. Although he lacked wins and championships, he made plenty of college memories.

Beating then-No. 7 Utah in his first game in the Swamp tops the list. As for that spectacular catch a year later? Well, that’s a close second.

He insists he’s made better ones in practice. But the leaping one-hander against Charlotte was revered because Pearsall hung onto the ball despite getting sandwiched between defenders Dontae Balfour and Isaiah Hazel.

“A lot of people make good one-handed catches, but to go through contact like that I feel like is another thing,” Pearsall said.

It’s his No. 1 highlight for now — and surely will be featured on draft night — but teammates and coaches believe he’s capable of more at the next level.

“He’s a freak,” Florida quarterback Graham Mertz said. “There’s no gray area. He’s going to light you up. He’s fast. He’s quick. Someone’s going to get a baller.”


By Michael Smith

Hi. Hailing from Manila, I am an avid consumer of anime, gaming, football and professional wrestling. You can mostly find me either writing articles, binging shows or engaged in an engrossing discussion about the said interests.

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