Hargreaves on UF: 'I knew that's where I wanted to go'

Published: Saturday, July 28, 2012 at 11:45 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, July 29, 2012 at 12:54 a.m.

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Vernon Hargreaves III did not do any interviews with the media when he gave his verbal commitment to Florida.


Florida commit Jordan Sherit stands on the sidelines during Friday Night Lights at The Swamp. (Photo by Daniel Wallace/Tampa Bay Times)

But on Saturday at the Champion Gridiron Kings event — which included UF commits Quinton Powell (Daytona Beach/Mainland) and Tre' Bell (Jersey City, N.J./St. Peter's Prep) — Hargreaves spoke with The Sun about his decision, which he said he actually made more than a year ago.

“Since (Florida) offered me, I knew that's where I wanted to go,” said Hargreaves, who received his UF offer in the summer of 2011. “But I just wanted to make sure, so I went and saw other places. But I already knew.”

After months of keeping things close to the vest, the nation's No. 1-ranked cornerback named the Gators his leader June 20 and then made it official Thursday.

“I just sat down with coach Muschamp and coach (Travaris) Robinson and told them that's where I wanted to go,” Hargreaves said. “I just kind of fell in love with the place.”

Ratliff raves about Hargreaves

Former Gator cornerback Keiwan Ratliff attended Gridiron Kings and had his eyes on Hargreaves the whole time. Ratliff played at Florida from 2000-2003 and was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-American by the Sporting News as a senior.

Now retired from the NFL after a seven-year career, Ratliff is a personal trainer in Orlando and works with high school football athletes on a weekly basis.

Hargreaves is one of the best he's ever seen, he said.

“He's very, very impressive,” Ratliff said. “Everything you want in a corner, he has it. His commitment is a program-changer.”

Ratliff said what sets Hargreaves apart from other young cornerbacks is his technique, much like his former teammate Lito Sheppard,

“Most kids at this age are just raw and talented,” Ratliff said. “They don't really understand the position. Vernon was born to play corner. He reminds me a lot of Lito Sheppard. He was one of the most technically sound,18-year-old cornerbacks I'd ever met. And Vernon is right there with him.”

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