Maestro the music, s'il vou plait:
I know it doesn't feel like it out there, but college football season really isn't that far away. In fact, most schools will begin practice in a short few weeks.
While we're thinking about all the guys gone down the road (or to our semi-illiterate next door neighbor's house), it's also a good time for what has become something of a tradition here at Dawg Sports: the annual Traitor's Draft.
The rules are simple: you pick one football player from another SEC school who you would love to draft into playing for the Red and Black in 2014. He doesn't have to be the "best" player in the league. Though your selection could certainly be, as they say in NFL Draft circles "the best player available." For example, I could make an argument that Auburn's Reese Dismukes is the best center in the SEC. And I love offensive linemen. But Dismukes isn't head and shoulders above Boss Andrews. So he's off my board.
Similarly, I really like Alabama running backs Derrick Henry and T.J. Yeldon. Either would be a fine addition to an already stacked Bulldog backfield which is 1 to 32 injuries away from being barren. You can after all never have enough tailbacks in the SEC. But I think there are other areas of the Bulldog roster which require more attention. Again, you get one guy, and you have to get as much bang for the buck as you can.
Your choice can play any position. Heck, you could try him out at a new position. But he has to be on a roster somewhere else in the SEC right now and eligible to play in 2014.
My choice, after some serious reflection, is (and I can't even believe I'm saying this), a Florida Gator. If I could draft a player off any other SEC team and suit him up against Clemson on August 30th it would be . . .Gator cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, III.
Here's my rationale. Cornerback is potentially the position of greatest need on the Bulldog roster. Would it be nice to cherry pick a fourth year starting quarterback to replace Hutson Mason? Maybe. But the SEC doesn't have any. Nick Marshall wasn't playing QB in Athens for a reason. And Bo Wallace was playing quarterback in Oxford last year when he wasn't doing inexplicably crazy things.
But cornerback is a proven area of need where there are proven commodities to be drafted, and none has more upside than Hargreaves. He was named All-SEC by the AP and league coaches last year as a true freshman, snagging three interceptions. In fact, he had one in each of the Gators first two games before people realized it was a bad idea to try to pick on the freshman.
Might he suffer a sophomore slump? Possibly. But in today's college football shutdown corners are becoming a necessity not an option. Hargreaves may be the best one in the SEC this year. For me it's an easy choice. What about you? What one rival player do you wish would put on a Bulldog uniform this season?