NFL.com analysts rank Gators DB Vernon Hargreaves as top sophomore
As football season approaches, NFL.com is passing the time by ranking the top 20 players in college football. Over the weekend, the NFL.com analysts ranked Florida Gators defensive back Vernon Hargreaves at No. 17 and the highest ranked sophomore in the top 20.
Among the panelists, two ranked him in the top 10 with one voter placing him as high as fourth.
This high of ranking comes as no surprise to Gator fans as Hargreaves was clearly the brightest spot in what otherwise was a depressing 2013 season. With his team-leading three interceptions and 11 pass breakups, Hargreaves was a disrupting presence for Will Muschamp’s defense.
What’s even more impressive about Hargreaves is his advanced play at such a young age. As a true freshman, Hargreaves showcased some of the best coverage skills in all of college football. He’s a terror for offenses in man-to-man coverage, forcing wide receivers off their routes while never losing site of the football. Muschamp recently praised Hargreaves’ intangibles and fundamentals at SEC Media Days.
“First off, [Hargreaves] has been blessed with a lot of ability. He’s a guy that’s got a lot of natural instincts for the game. He’s a very quick learner and he’s very, very coachable,” Muschamp said. “You take his God-given ability and you mix that with all of the intangible things he does extremely well and that’s why he’s a very good football player.”
Whenever Hargreaves decides to go to the NFL, he’ll certainly be added to the great legacy of DBs at Florida and will find himself at the top of NFL draft boards.
What are the NFL.com analysts saying about Hargreaves?
“He was the most impressive cornerback in college football last season. He reminds me of former Gator Joe Haden.” — Daniel Jeremiah (NFL Network Analyst and former NFL scout)
“He was the best high school cover corner in the nation as a senior and isn’t too far from claiming that title in college as a sophomore. He’s so fluid covering receivers and understands the game as well as any underclassman.” — Bryan Fischer (NFL.com college football writer)
“Standout cover corner with polished footwork and fundamentals. He could emerge as the premier lockdown corner by season’s end.” — Bucky Brooks (NFL Network analyst and former NFL player/ scout)