With Vernon Hargreaves III and Keanu Neal being taken in the first round of the NFL draft Thursday night, DBU is just getting started. There will be more nights like that in the future — maybe the near future, as in next year.
It is rare to have two defensive backs from the same school selected in the first round. It has been done only once by another SEC school, so it’s something special.
But the Gators have a chance to go back-to-back. Jalen Tabor may be the best cornerback in the nation, and Quincy Wilson is not far behind. If these two stay healthy, there’s a good chance they’ll be the next two junior defensive backs to leave early and become first-round draft picks.
It’s a cycle that’s starting to take place at DBU. Elite junior defensive backs leave early and are replaced by elite rising juniors who project to leave early. What this does is draw elite defensive back recruits to Florida knowing they have a chance to play early and a chance to eventually hear their named called on the first night of the draft.
Adding Torian Gray to the mix only enhances the chances of the cycle running strong for maybe years to come. Gray comes from another DBU (Virginia Tech) and has a track record for signing and developing future NFL defensive backs. He’s a dynamic recruiter — and DBU is becoming an easy sell the way things are going at the moment.
The thing is, when Gray is on the recruiting trail this spring talking to defensive back prospects, he won’t even have to mention what happened in Chicago on Thursday night with Hargreaves and Neal. They already know.
Florida is Defensive Back University, and it’s on a roll.