So here was the idea. In 2006, we ranked the top 100 Florida football players on the 100th anniversary of Florida football. A lot of players have been stars since then, so let’s re-rank them. But that would mean kicking some of those players to the curb. So instead, we give you this as you try to take your minds off things — the Top 10 Gators at each position over the last 114 years of football. This is the 10th of a 13-part series.
Today — Cornerback.
Up next — Safeties.
- Lito Sheppard (1999-2001) — He became just the fourth sophomore in school history to be named All-American in 2000. One of the smoothest and most fluid athletes in program history, he was a two-time All-SEC selection. He didn’t put up big numbers because opposing QBs were reluctant to challenge him.
- Joe Haden (2007-09) — A high school quarterback who made the move to cornerback the summer before his freshman season, and he ended up being an instant starter at his new spot. In three seasons, he broke up 34 passes.
- Keiwan Ratliff (2000-03) — This guy was a heck of a playmaker, and like most playmakers, he had great instincts. He had nine interceptions, a single-season school record, in his All-American senior season.He also tied the UF record with three interceptions against Arkansas that year. He finished his career with 12 picks.
- Vernon Hargreaves III (2013-15) — A highly recruited prospect out of Tampa who had an immediate impact in the secondary. Excellent in man-to-man coverage, he finished his three-year career with 10 interceptions and 15 pass breakups.
- Steve Tannen (1967-69) — He was fast enough, skilled enough and physical enough to split time between cornerback and safety. He was a first-team All-American his senior season. A two-time All-SEC selection, he had 11 career picks.
- Fred Weary (1994-97) — A big-time playmaker, Weary is the school record-holder for career interceptions with 15th. He’s also fourth in career breakups with 35. He was a two-time All-SEC pick who earned All-America honors his senior season.
- CJ Henderson (2017-19) — Like Sheppard, Henderson didn’t put up huge numbers in his career because QBs tended to throw away from him. He was excellent in man-to-man coverage and may have had the fastest closing speed in UF history.
- Jalen Tabor (2014-16) — In only three seasons, this former five-star recruit broke up 37 passes, the third-most in school history. His best season came as a sophomore, when he had 18 pass breakups.
- Anthone Lott (1993-96) — Relentlessly picked on in his freshman season, Lott went on to become UF’s career leader in pass breakups with 42. He went from shaky as a freshman to sensational as a junior and senior, earning All-SEC honors those last two years.
- Richard Fain (1989-90) — Fast and instinctive, Fain had a great two-year run in the secondary, earning All-SEC honors his junior and senior seasons.