University of Florida

Florida Gators’ Hargreaves braces for matchup with Alabama’s Cooper

A pair of All-Americans headline a key individual battle as Florida braces for No.3 Alabama on Saturday (3:30 p.m., CBS).

Gators cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III and Crimson Tide receiver Amari Cooper will match up in a showdown between two potential future first-round NFL Draft picks.

“I’m excited about the matchup,” said Hargreaves, a sophomore. “Obviously, everybody knows what’s coming. Obviously, I’m going to be covering him, but you know, I’m excited for it.”

Cooper, a junior, leads the Southeastern Conference in receptions (33) and yards (454), and has been targeted an NCAA-best 50 times.

Meanwhile, Hargreaves tops the Gators with five pass breakups in just two games.

“Saturday scouts will be drooling over the matchup in Tuscaloosa. The best CB in the Country vs. the best WR. Hargreaves vs. Cooper,” ESPN analyst David Pollack tweeted Monday.

Hargreaves dubbed the challenge a measuring stick for both players, saying, they’ve even exchanged pleasantries on Twitter.

“Coop, he’s a great player, we talked a little bit [on Twitter]; we both knew this was coming,” Hargreaves said. “He’s excited. I’m excited. We both know the magnitude of the game, and it’s going to be a great matchup on Saturday.”