Now with National Signing Day in the books, let’s look at the top newcomers in the SEC for 2013. Predicting the top newcomers is often very tough, and these aren’t just merely rankings of the top players. We’re going to look at what type of impact they’ll make and where they’ll make it.
No. 1 Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
No. 2 Lavon Hooks, DT, Ole Miss
No. 3 JaQuay Williams, WR, Texas A&M
No. 4 Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
No. 5 Robert Nkemdiche, DE, Ole Miss
No. 6 Kelvin Taylor, RB, Florida
No. 7 Cameron Artis-Payne, RB, Auburn
No. 8 Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama
No. 9 Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
No. 10 Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas
No. 11 Chris Jones, DE, Miss State
No. 12 Za’Darius Smith, DE, Kentucky
No. 13 OJ Howard, TE, Alabama
No. 14 Marquez North, WR, Tennessee
No. 15 Ricky Seals-Jones, ATH, Texas A&M
No. 16 Leon Brown, OL, Alabama
No. 17 Fred Ross, WR, Mississippi State
No. 18 Tray Matthews, S, Georgia
No. 19 Jonathan Allen, OLB, Alabama
No. 20 Ben Bradley, DT, Auburn
No. 21 Alex Anzalone, LB, Florida
No. 22 Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn
No. 23 Frank Herron, DE, LSU
No. 24 Larenz Bryant, LB, South Carolina
No. 25 Ryan Timmons, WR, Kentucky
No. 1 – Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
From: Tampa, FL (Wharton)
Size: 5-11, 185 pounds, 4.41 40
The Skinny: I know every single recruiting agency’s rankings doesn’t back the argument, but Vernon Hargreaves III could be the best overall player in the 2013 recruiting class. Hargreaves will remind of former Tennessee star Eric Berry, as Berry exited high school a top corner only to switch to safety later. Hargreaves won’t be switching to safety, but he possesses all the athleticism and ‘it’ factor Berry had. He’s the son of a coach who knows not only how to play the game from a physical standpoint, but he’s also experienced and mature between the ears.
We’ve seen freshmen corners at Florida make immediate impacts in recent years, including Janoris Jenkins and Joe Haden, but Hargreaves has a higher ceiling than either NFL talent.
What Florida is getting: The Gators signed the biggest lockdown corner on the market and arguably the top defensive player in the recruiting cycle. He’s so important to Florida for so many reasons. Not only will he compete for a starting spot from day one, but he also allows Florida to be multiple in coverage and allows Loucheiz Purifoy to play more wide receiver. Hargreaves will compete with returners Purifoy, Marcus Roberson and Jaylen Watkins for a starting spot. Hargreaves is one of the highest rated pure cover corners ever in high school, and he’s more polished at 18 than most guys are as juniors or seniors.
Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports