Vernon Hargreaves III, the nation's consensus top defensive back recruit, has signed his letter of intent to join the Florida Gators. Hargreaves turned down offers from practically every major program. He also turned down an impressive push from South Florida, where his father acts as special teams coordinator.
Hargreaves gave his verbal commitment to Florida in late July. He then spent his senior season racking up accolades. Hargreaves was the Florida Dairy Farmers Class 8A Player of the Year, Tampa Bay Times Defensive Player of the Year, and a USA Today First Team All-American. He received five-star ratings from all of the scouting agencies, was named the unanimous top cornerback prospect in the nation, and garnered spots in the national top 5 from practically every scout. He also was named Player of the Game at the Under Armour All-America Game.
Early on, Hargreaves was viewed as untouchable given his ties to South Florida. In an interview with Antoya English of the Tampa Bay Times, he talked of visiting Miami, where his dad was an assistant when he was a small child:
"That was interesting to go back there. What I didn't like about it was that everything was the same. I remembered everything. ... I could only see myself there as a kid running around. Not playing in college."
Scouts rave over Hargreaves' speed, agility, and technique. He does struggle with tackling and run support, but is already a fully formed cover cornerback. He will immediately enter the mix at cornerback for the Gators, who ranked second nationally in pass efficiency defense last year and return two true sophomore starters at the position. Coach Will Muschamp has never hesitated to use a true freshman at cornerback, and Hargreaves could be in position for immediate playing time if a spot opens.
Ratings: Five stars
Vitals: At 5'11 and 185 pounds, Hargreaves is an ideal cornerback.
Other offers: Hargreaves held offers from almost everyone, including Alabama, Oregon, Notre Dame, Florida State, Ohio State, and Oklahoma.
Twitter: Hargreaves has already altered a former Heisman Trophy winner's name for Twitter, adopting the handle @_VH3.
Recruitment timeline: The Vernon Hargreaves story is available in detail at the SB Nation Storystream.
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