Junior cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III is unanimously considered the Florida Gators best player entering the 2015 season. As such, head coach Jim McElwain has not been bashful about the fact that he plans to use him on special teams, primarily in the return game. On Friday, he revealed that he may have other plans for Hargreaves as well.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, McElwain noted that the Gators have plays in which Hargreaves will suit up on offense.
“Vernon is as good a player in all aspects of the game as I’ve been around. Let me say this too, the guy loves to practice. He’s not a prima donna, which really to me is what sets him apart,” McElwain began.
“I’ll go ahead and tell you, but we’ve got packages for him on offense too.”
McElwain, of course, refused to elaborate on that comment. “I’ll leave it at that,” he said.
Whether Hargreaves actually sees the field on offense very much remains to be seen. Under Will Muschamp, the Gators spoke at length about possibly playing CB Loucheiz Purifoy at wide receiver, but outside of a handful of plays (that resulted in no receptions), that concept dissipated quickly.
Hargreaves, of course, is much better than Purifoy. And even if he does see time in an offensive package of two, expect it to be seriously limited. Florida must not only keep Hargreaves healthy but ensure he does not wear himself out during games.
There is more to read from McElwain’s interview with SI, though most of it (including this fun response below) you’ve heard or read before.
SI: It took paying a $7 million buyout for Florida to pry you away from Colorado State. You’re paying $2 million of that. What the heck were you thinking when you agreed to a contract with such a pricey buyout?
McElwain: Obviously, wasn’t thinking much. (Laughs) At the same time, understand how much I loved Colorado State and was committed. Yet in life there’s only certain number of these opportunities that come and present themselves. In the long run, I just felt that this was one of those opportunities that you got to take.