Week one of college football is in the books, with exciting games left and right for fans and analysts alike. All eyes were on this year’s group of star quarterbacks, and were certainly saw some impressive performances. Perhaps none more impressive, however, than the display from the signal-callers from the major Florida schools.
Miami’s Tyler Van Dyke, Florida’s Anthony Richardson, and Florida State’s Jordan Travis each showed out in their respective games, displaying some impressive traits that will excite talent evaluators for the rest of the year.
Tyler Van Dyke
Perhaps the most highly touted of the three prospects going into the season, the Canes were expecting a big season from Van Dyke. In his first game against Bethune-Cookman, he certainly made some impressive plays. Going 13 for 16, he connected on several big plays with wide receiver Xavier Restrepo, who has also made a name for himself.
Van Dyke also showed some impressive accuracy on a touchdown throw to Michael Redding III.
With a two high safety look, the middle defender followed Redding over the middle. Thus, Van Dyke’s window to put the ball between the two was significantly diminished. However, it’s TVD’s impressive accuracy and anticipation that places him among the top three quarterbacks in next years draft.
Van Dyke is able to fit the ball perfectly past the trailing backer and in front of the safety coming down to make a play on the ball. It’s these types of tight window throws that have scouts and media excited for his potential in the NFL, and the fact that he’s doing it in his tenth start makes it all that much more impressive.
Undoubtedly one of the most talented prospects in all of college football, Richardson boasts the highest potential of the quarterbacks in the 2023 class. His 6’4″, 231 pound frame, when combined with freakish athleticism and speed, gives a mold coaches and general managers dream of developing. With his performance against #7 Utah, his stock continued to improve as he showed off his limitless ceiling.
The moment that encapsulated the night for Richardson came on a two point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter. Florida was attempting to increase their lead to three, and needed to convert late in the game.
Coming off the play action, UF allowed two free rushers, and it looked like wraps for Richardson. However, in a play straight out of Madden, he’s able to pump fake and spin away both of them, darting the ball to a wide open receiver in the corner of the end zone.
Richardson was making plays with his legs all night, and more importantly, he showed improved processing and accuracy, which scouts need to see if he is to be drafted highly come next fall.
The last impressive Florida quarterback performance may have been the most unexpected. Florida State’s Jordan Travis has been clouded with controversy and distractions since he arrived in Tallahassee. Whether it’s the injury he had to his throwing shoulder or the ongoing carousel between him and McKenzie Milton, it was clear that he hadn’t gotten his opportunity. However, it seemed that’s changed this season, and Travis has made the most of it.
Through the first two weeks, and especially in the game against LSU, it’s been Travis’ playmaking and ability to stay composed under the face of pressure that have stood out. Florida State’s offensive line was shaky at times against a sharp LSU pass rush, but the junior under center delivered time and time again, especially on third down.
His best play came in the third quarter, with the Seminoles up 10-3. LSU was trying to protect the sticks, and pushed their safeties down towards the box. After the Tigers dialed up a 6 man pressure, Travis quickly realized he had one-on-one on the outside, but little time to deliver with a free rusher screaming through the B-gap.
Travis was unfazed (a common theme throughout the night), taking a hit that was later called for targeting and delivering a 35 yard dime in the perfect spot for Ontaria Wilson to make a one handed snag.
Every year, there are quarterbacks who shoot up the ranks throughout the season, and if Jordan Travis is able to have more games like his last two, it feasible he falls into favor with talent evaluators.
The Bottom Line
It’s been a while since all three of Florida’s major college teams were successful, and even longer since they’ve all had such exciting quarterbacks.
Van Dyke, Richardson, and Travis were all highly touted in their own regard, and seeing them not only break the trend, but live up to the hype has been exciting to say the least. We are only a couple weeks into the season, but it will be exciting to see if they keep it up and how it impacts their draft slots.