GAINESVILLE -- Freshman phenom Vernon Hargreaves III was a rare bright spot in an otherwise miserable season for Florida, and the outstanding cornerback was rewarded by media members for his strong play Monday.
Hargreaves III was one of three Gators named to 2013 The Associated Press All-SEC Team. The cornerback was UF's lone first-team representative and also the sole freshman (true or redshirt) named to the first team.
The dynamic defensive back, ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the country according to Rivals.com, flashed his electric talent immediately for the Gators. Hargreaves, who recorded picks in three of his first four collegiate games, burst onto the scene in such a fashion the team actually changed his uniform number from 16 to 1 after just a single game.
Hargreaves III played in all 12 games for Florida, starting the final 10. He recorded 38 tackles, three interceptions, 11 pass breakups and a conference-leading 14 passes defended.
In a bit of a snub, Hargreaves -- Florida's first true freshman named to the All-SEC first team since punter Shayne Edge (1991) -- was not honored as the league's freshman of the year.
Arkansas tailback Alex Collins took home the award despite not being named to either team.
Junior cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy, who recently declared for the 2014 NFL Draft, and sophomore BUCK linebacker/defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. were named to the All-SEC second team.
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Hargreaves was also named to the Coaches' All-SEC first team. The cornerback was again the lone freshman honored.
Florida wideout Solomon Patton was named to the second team as a return specialist. The senior led the Gators in all-purpose yards (1269), including 642 kickoff return yardage and a 100-yard touchdown.
Note: Following a 11-win season in 2012, the Gators had seven representatives -- including six first-team members: TE Jordan Reed, RB Mike Gillislee, K Caleb Sturgis, DT Sharrif Floyd, S Matt Elam, P Kyle Christy -- on the AP All-SEC teams. ... The coaches All-SEC teams will be released later this week.
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