Thanks for everything, Richard Gouraige. Go chase your dream. (Photo credit: Getty Images)
Florida had long been assumed to be losing offensive lineman O’Cyrus Torrence to the NFL Draft, and now it’s been confirmed that he won’t be the Gators’ only big man up front to do so.
Offensive tackle Richard Gouraige has accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl, and thus will enter the NFL Draft. The 6’5, 308 lb. Tampa native did have one final year of eligibility remaining thanks to a redshirt in 2018 and the blanket year of eligibility thanks to COVID, but after five years in the Gators’ program- which spanned three coaches after he initially committed to Jim McElwain in 2017– he has decided to take his talents to the big leagues.
Gouraige will, however, suit up one final time for the Gators on Saturday in the Las Vegas Bowl.
But Richard Gouraige won’t be using that last year he had available. And it’s pretty hard to blame him. As an offensive lineman, Gouraige is just really, really good at everything. He’s strong. He’s quick. He’s got heavy hands, and he places them very well. The pad level he plays with is great. He’s very good in pass protection, and he’s even better as a run blocker. And he’s highly intelligent.
That combination of quick feet, strong hands, and intelligence will serve him very well in terms of earning a lucrative draft spot. He’s not quite of the Michael Oher or Jake Long mold of offensive tackles because he could still use some mechanical tweaking and learn to gain better balance when he’s matched up against some of the monsters he goes against, but the upside with Richard Gouraige as an offensive tackle is extremely high. Fans of whichever team drafts him should note that he still needs a bit of work, but you can pencil him in as a starting tackle for your team in 2024.
So, with all that said: best of luck to you, King Richard. It’s been a pleasure to watch you do your thing. Now it’s time for you to get paid to do what you love.
Oh, and thanks for perhaps the greatest celebration of all time.