Former Florida Gators left tackle Stone Forsythe was one of the most underrated and underappreciated Gators last season. Replacing him will not be easy, but projected starting left tackle Richard Gouraige will do his best to protect starting quarterback Emory Jones.
Forsythe was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the 6th round of the 2021 NFL Draft, and he was a steal for the Seahawks. At Florida, Forsythe was a pass pro star and protected Heisman trophy finalist Kyle Trask like an All-American.
Had Forsythe been a better run blocker, he may have had a chance to be an All-American and a higher draft pick. Regardless, losing Forsythe hurts a lot more than some Florida fans understand.
Having a left tackle to protect your quarterback’s blindside is crucial for the success of an offense. If your quarterback doesn’t trust his left tackle, it’s going to lead to bigger problems.
If the Gators’ offense remains one of the best in college football this season, Gouraige’s play will be a significant aspect of that.
Florida Gators fans shouldn’t worry about Richard Gouraige.
Luckily for Gators fans, Gouraige has the experience, and according to Demetrius Harvey of Sports Illustrated, he also has his offensive line coach’s vote of confidence.
According to Harvey, Florida’s offensive line coach John Hevesy had this to say about Gouraige, “He’s done a great job so far, a very knowledgeable kid. To me, just very meticulous about his work ethic. Everything he does, he’s studying film, he’s constantly on it. I feel very comfortable. He’s had a year, close to [a] year and a half of playing time. Him being in the game doesn’t really bother me because he’s got that game experience.”
Those words are huge for Gouraige, but they should also be encouraging for Gators fans.
Jones should have a big year at quarterback, and if he does, Gouraige will be one of the main reasons.
The 6-5, 313-pound redshirt junior has the chance to make himself a lot of money this year if he can dominate for the Gators. Gouraige is a crucial piece to the Gators puzzle as they try to win a national championship in 2021.