NGSC Sports

Florida’s Vernon Hargreaves: Best CB in the Nation

One of the bright spots to the Florida Gators disappointing season a year ago was the play of cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III. Now the sophomore is ready to ascend to the top of the college football throne as the  nation’s best corner. As a five-star recruit coming out of high school, Hargreaves was the prize of the Gators’ 2013 recruiting class. He came into the 2013 season with a lot of hype and he certainly did not disappoint.  Hargreaves recorded 38 tackles and had a team-best 11 pass break-ups and three interceptions last season as a freshman. Hargreaves finished fourth in the SEC in passes defended with 14 and was a first-team All-SEC selection at cornerback. Last Friday, ESPN named Hargreaves as the fourth best player in the SEC heading into the 2014 season. Hargreaves is everything you want in a corner. He has the look at 5-foot-11, 194 pounds and he is very athletic, much like the New England Patriots’ cornerback Darrelle Revis. Hargreaves is such a fast, quick, and intelligent player. He can shadow the best receiver in college football with his ball-hawking ability. Both Revis and Hargreaves are identical in size. They are also very identical in the way they can shut down a receiver. Revis can control almost any receiver in the NFL purely by his physical press-man technique. Hargreaves, much like Revis likes to get his body into the receiver in order to knock them off their route. If you take a look at the Hargreaves’ interception against Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Maxwell Smith, you can see what truly makes him a great corner.  Hargreaves made an aerobatic interception over the receiver Javess Blue. Hargreaves’ shows his stunning ability to track the ball and quarterback at the same time. Not only does Hargreaves have excellent coverage against Blue, his 38 inch vertical leap gives him the ability to grab the ball at its highest point. On the first play from scrimmage during the Gators Oct.19 game against the Missouri Tigers, quarterback Maty Mauk completed a 41-yard pass to L’Damian Washington. What you may not see is Hargreaves almost knocks the pass down. It took an outstanding throw by Mauk just to complete the pass to Washington and gain the first down. There’s not another corner in college football that has the same attributes as Hargreaves. He can watch the quarterback the entire time while having the instincts to stay with receivers in coverage. If you combine that with his physical techniques at the line of scrimmage, then you have the best corner in college football. When Marcus Roberson left the Miami (Fla.) game in Week 2 with a knee injury, Hargreaves had his number called and he performed like an upperclassmen.

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