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Ricky Pearsall reveals what made his one-handed catch special to him

On3 imageby:Zach Abolverdi05/27/24


Ricky Pearsall | FSU Week

Last season Florida receiver Ricky Pearsall made the catch of the year in college football with his one-handed grab against Charlotte. He was sandwiched by two defenders after making the leaping reception but held onto the ball.

Pearsall, who was selected in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers, sat down with and revealed why the play was a special moment for him.

“That catch is actually more special to me than just, you know, the actual catch,” Pearsall said. “That was a game that I actually got my dad tickets to on like the fourth row, 50-yard line for the first time ever.”

Pearsall’s father, Ricky Pearsall Sr., played college football at Northern Arizona. In 1996, Pearsall earned All-America recognition as a returner after he set an FCS record for most punt return yards in a game (216).

Pearsall locked eyes with his father following the play of his career.

“After I made that catch, obviously I got up and you could see me staring in the video and people are like, ‘Oh, he’s staring there trying to all hyped up’, but really I was staring at my dad. It was a surreal moment for me because he got up and he was going crazy, amped up, hyping me up.

“I don’t really see that of him. And it’s hard to make that dude, you know, be like, ‘Oh yeah, you just made an incredible moment.’ And so to see that for me, it was a very special moment. That catch is actually more special to me.”

Pearsall shared another moment like that with his father at South Carolina. After his game-winning touchdown to beat the Gamecocks, his father climbed down from the stands and celebrated with his son on the field.

Pearsall boosted his draft stock considerably as a senior, setting career highs for catches (65) and receiving yards (965) with four touchdowns. He also averaged 20.7 yards on three rushing attempts, scoring twice.

Pearsall became the fifth receiver coached by Billy Napier to go in the first round and the ninth receiver overall that played for him and got drafted.

“One of my favorite players of all time and I think the 49ers got it right because this guy is a pro. He’ll be even better at the next level,” Napier said. “He’s got a ton of confidence … and just a really good football mind.

“He’s kind of almost obsessed with the details. Character makeup, dad, mom, great family. Just a blue-collar kid, tough kid that had a plan and really bought into how we work around here the last couple of years.”

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