Florida QB Richardson seeks ‘rebrand, sheds AR-15 nickname

anthony richardson
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ATLANTA — Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson, who wears No. 15, has shed the nickname “AR-15” because he doesn’t want to be linked to the semiautomatic rifle used in mass shootings.

Richardson said Wednesday at the Southeastern Conference Media Days he is “just trying to rebrand myself and become a better person.”

The sophomore said he was thinking about “what the future holds” when making the decision.

“I’m not going to be able to play football for the rest of my life,” Richardson said. “I feel it was pretty much a business decision. There’s a lot going on and that kind of played a part in it. Just trying to understand like who I am as a person.

“AR-15 doesn’t necessarily describe who I am. I’m Anthony Richardson and that’s who I’ve been since I was born.”


One day after Alabama coach Nick Saban said his players made more than $3 million in name, image and likeness deals, Georgia coach Kirby Smart wouldn’t give a total count on the earnings of his players.

Smart said he preferred to emphasize having 95 players with NIL deals. He said winning the 2021 national championship helped his players take advantage of the NIL opportunities.

“I would rival anybody in the country with 95 NIL deals coming off the national championship, a pretty gaudy number that we’ve been able to give out,” Smart said before adding he didn’t think the total value of the deals was most important.

“I think it’s more about the depth of our deals than the total amount,” Smart said.


Kentucky coach Mark Stoops is 59-53 as he enters his 10th season, setting a school record for endurance.

The Wildcats carry a streak of six consecutive bowl seasons into 2022.

“The 10 years in Lexington is something that I am proud of because I know how difficult it is,” Stoops said. “I know how difficult it is to walk into this league with the great coaching, with the recruiting … then trying to climb that ladder as high as we can.”

Stoops added, “However, we’re not satisfied. We want to continue to grow. We want to continue to push it. Obviously, some teams at the top of the food chain in the East and the West are doing some really special things. So you have to continue to elevate your game.”


Smart confirmed he is close to agreeing to a contract extension. He is 66-15 in six years at Georgia.

Smart is earning more than $7.1 million per year on his current deal, which carries through the 2024 season. His extension is expected to be for 10 or more years and make him one of the game’s highest-paid coaches at about $10 million per year.

“I’m not concerned at all about it,” Smart said of the talks between Georgia’s administration and his agent, Jimmy Sexton.

“They’ve been tremendous in their communication with my representation,” Smart said. “I’m completely comfortable with where everything is. Both sides have worked really hard to get the thing done.”


Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett is five years older than his brother, Luke Bennett, a wide receiver. Under normal conditions, that age difference would prevent the brothers from playing together in college.

Thanks to the NCAA granting an extra year of eligibility due to the coronavirus pandemic, Stetson is taking advantage of his sixth year – and the unexpected opportunity to play with his younger brother, a freshman, who signed with Georgia as a walk-on.

“That’s probably the coolest thing for me that came out of COVID-19, if you can say that,” said Stetson Bennett. “We were always super tight, but I was five years older than him. We were never able to get on the team together.

“Being able to have that opportunity, it’s special. We are both super lucky. I know my mom is a big fan of it happening. Hopefully, the stars align, and we can throw a pass to each other, but for right now, we are good just being on the same team.”

South Carolina gives AD Tanner raise, two-year extension

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner received a two-year contract extension that ties him to the school through June 2026.

Tanner, 64, is a two-time College World Series champion as the Gamecocks’ baseball coach who moved to leading the athletic department in July 2012.

The new deal was approved by the school’s board of trustees Friday and replaces Tanner’s old agreement that was set to expire in June 2024. Tanner will receive a raise of more than $153,000 per season, increasing his total compensation to $1.175 million.

Tanner has had his ups and downs leading the department. He took over when football coach Steve Spurrier was in the middle of three straight 11-2 seasons with players like defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney and receiver Alshon Jeffrey.

Tanner’s hire to replace Spurrier, Will Muschamp, lasted less than five seasons before he was let go in the middle of 2020. Muschamp’s replacement, current coach Shane Beamer, has had back-to-back winning seasons and been to a bowl game his first two yeas.

Tanner has also overseen the rise of women’s basketball under coach Dawn Staley, who signed a seven-year contract before the 2021-22 season worth $22.4 million. Staley and the Gamecocks won the national title last April and are favorites to repeat this season.

Michigan RB Blake Corum says he’ll be back by fall camp

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan All-America running back Blake Corum said his surgically repaired left knee has gotten strong enough that he’s been cleared to run on an anti-gravity treadmill next week.

Corum said that he is “100%” sure he will play in the season-opening game on Sept. 2 against East Carolina

Corum tore a meniscus and sprained a ligament in his left knee against Illinois on Nov. 19. After playing sparingly against Ohio State, he sat out when the Wolverines won the Big Ten title and advanced to the College Football Playoff semifinals.

Instead of entering the NFL draft, Corum decided to stay in school for his senior year.

“Feeling great all-around mentally, physically spiritually,” Corum told The Associated Press.

The 5-foot-8, 210-pound Corum ran for 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns last season and had 952 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2021.

“I’ll be back definitely by fall camp,” he said. “I plan on doing everything in the summer workouts, depending on on what doctor says. He told me I shouldn’t be cutting until maybe June. I’m taking my time, but I will be ready by the season.”

Corum will be watching when his teammates face each each other in the Maize and Blue spring game on April 1 at Michigan Stadium.