Cornerback is a stacked position in the SEC for 2014. While there are quite a few leaders from a season ago gone, there were many underclassmen who kept pace with the experienced guys and should put together great seasons. There are probably more guys deserving of first-team honors than any other position, but there can only be two.
Hargreaves came on the scene as a true freshman and paced the Gators’ secondary. He finished the season with three interceptions, 14 passes defensed and 11 pass breakups. Even with talented players like Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson ahead of him on the depth chart to begin the season, he came in and made an impact for Will Muschamp and the Gators’ defense.
This season, he will be the key player in the secondary, and Florida needs him to be every bit as good as he was a season ago. With a couple of new starters around him and an offense looking for an identity, Hargreaves will need to be a leader, anchoring the defense especially early in the year. He should have no trouble doing this, and will be an All-SEC selection by everyone when the season ends.
On the other side, Mincy had a great season for Auburn, finishing second in the league with 15 passes defended and 14 pass breakups while also tallying 56 tackles. Chris Davis got most of the attention because of his heroic field goal return, but Mincy was the Tigers’ best corner.
As Auburn looks to repeat as SEC champions, they’ll need Mincy to lead their secondary again. They are also missing vocal leader Dee Ford, so Mincy will also need to be a leader of the defense as a whole. If he can repeat his success as a senior, the Tigers will be right in the thick of the SEC West race.
There are many talented defensive backs in the SEC this season, and there most certainly could be a surprise or two to make the end-of-season team. However, Hargreaves and Mincy will certainly continue their success and be amongst the best when 2014 concludes.