One week after calling USC his leader, five-star cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III released his Top 5 on twitter Friday and the Trojans surprisingly did not make the list.
His new No. 1?
The University of Florida.
“Top 5 ) 1.Florida 2.Clemson 3.Vanderbilt 4.Miami 5.Notre Dame , USF is not in my top 5 but still considering !” tweeted the Tampa Wharton standout.
South Florida missing the cut is also a surprise because his father, Vernon Hargreaves II, is the defensive ends coach and special teams coordinator at the school and the Bulls were one of the favorites he named on July 1 along with the Gators and Hurricanes. Those three were the only teams that had received visits from him at the time.
Over the past 10 days, however, Hargreaves took trips to Oregon, Stanford, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Georgia, Clemson and Alabama. The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder saw enough on his cross-country college tour to narrow down his of over 40 offers to five.
Hargreaves, who is ESPN’s top-ranked CB, had the Gators leading early in his recruitment and then said everyone was even, at least publicly, in the spring. But earlier this month, he once again showed signs of Florida favoritism by spending most of his time at The Opening with the UF commits in attendance and even sporting some Gator gear.
Then USC became the front-runner following his unofficial visit on July 12, but his California love didn’t last long. Jalen Ramsey committed to the Trojans on Monday to give them two cornerbacks for the class, which likely caused Hargreaves to lose interest. The distance also began to bother him. After eliminating Southern Cal on Friday, Hargreaves told a Trojan fan on twitter that USC “was just too far for me.”
If closeness to home continues to be a factor for him moving forward, the Gators have to like their chances. It also helps that his sister, Carina, is a student at UF.
Hargreaves has no timetable on making a decision, but he plans to take official visits and see how his five finalists perform on the football field this season.