Florida Gators Quarterback Anthony Richardson Explains Decision to Step Away from ‘AR-15’ Nickname

by Nick Geddes

Anthony Richardson wears the No. 15 on the back of his jersey every gameday for the Florida Gators. His initials are AR.

Naturally, the sophomore quarterback adopted the nickname, “AR-15.” It’s also become the focal point of his personal brand in the ever-growing space of name, image and likeness (NIL). But “AR-15” will now be a thing of the past, as Richardson announced Sunday that he’s refraining from using the nickname in the future.

Richardson said he didn’t want to be associated with the same name of the semi-automatic rifle, which had been used in recent mass shootings.

“After discussions with my family and much thought, I have decided to no longer use the nickname “AR-15 and the current apparel line lingo, which features a scope reticle, as part of my branding,” Richardson said, via his Twitter.

Richardson wants to separate himself from a weapon used frequently in mass shootings. Instead, he’ll focus on his name and his initials for branding purposes.

Richardson, 21, started an apparel line last year to capitalize on NIL. Richardson’s shop features t-shirts, hoodies, jerseys, etc. with “AR-15” written on them. The website’s name is shopar15apparel.com. Richardson said he and his team are in the process of developing a new logo for his apparel line.

Anthony Richardson Enters 2022 Season with High Expectations

There’s an expectation Anthony Richardson will be the Gators’ starting quarterback in head coach Billy Napier’s first year in Gainesville. He exploded onto the scene in 2021, despite serving as the backup to Emory Jones.

Richardson managed to make the All-SEC Freshman Team despite suiting up in just seven games. Richardson showed off his electric capabilities in limiting playing time, especially on the ground. He rushed for 401 yards on a robust 7.9 yards per carry for the Gators.

He enters the season with the 13th best odds at +5000 to win the Heisman Trophy, per VegasInsider.com. Richardson trails only Alabama’s Bryce Young (+200) among SEC quarterbacks.