Former Arizona State junior wide receiver Ricky Pearsallwho entered the NCAA transfer portal on Thursday, is set to visit Florida on Friday, April 29, according to a source directly familiar with his recruitment.
Pearsall was expected to be a priority target for the Sun Devil offense this year after leading the team in all three major categories last season with 48 catches, 580 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns. According to sundevilsource.com publisher Chris Karpman, there were whispers among ASU staff members that Pearsall had the potential “to be a 70-plus catch player this season.”
Gator wide receivers coach Keary Colbert spoke with Pearsall on Thursday afternoon shortly after he officially entered the transfer portal, a source told Swamp247. Colbert is at least somewhat familiar with Pearsall as he most recently coached in the Pac-12 at USC.
“I think he’s far from reaching his peak,” ASU wide receivers coach Bobby Wade said of Pearsall earlier this month. “I think a lot of it has to do with his mentality each week and how he prepares and he does a great job at that. And we’re going to do a great job of moving him around: We think he’s a guy that can handle the multiple snaps, multiple positions. I think he’s a physical player. I think he’s mentally tough. And, you know, we’ll rely on him to make a lot of plays.”
Throughout Florida’s spring football schedule, its head coach Billy Napier stressed the importance of supplementing his team’s depth through the NCAA transfer portal in preparation for the upcoming season. And with spring ball behind him, the first-year coach has continued to echo the sentiment.
“I think even hopefully five years from now I’m probably going to say the same thing,” Napier said Tuesday during his stop in Tampa on his spring speaking tour. “We need more players. I think every football team at this point of the year is very much a work in progress. Each team across the country has a set of problems. I think our big deal is we need to focus on the strengths we do have and come up with solutions for the issues.”
Napier’s emphasis on combing through the transfer portal is the byproduct of two factors. First, he has said on numerous occasions that his team lacks depth, pointing to inside linebacker, safety, wide receiver and defensive tackle as his primary positions of need. Second, the college football landscape has evolved so drastically with regard to transfers that teams risk being left behind if they do not participate in what has essentially become the sport’s free agency window.
“We are operating in a little bit different era relative to having the ability to go acquire a player that can become immediately eligible,” Napier said. “So it’s a new dynamic, one that I think we have a good plan for. You know, we’re basically to a position now where we have four signing days a year instead of two. We used to have one, now we’ ve got four. So we’re entering the final one prior to summer school starting and getting ready to coach the team.”