<
>

Vernon Hargreaves III, Laquon Treadwell meet for 'bragging rights'

Laquon Treadwell (1) made big plays to help Ole Miss knock off Alabama this season. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III and Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell have always been the best at what they do.

Back in high school, they were ranked No. 1 at their respective positions in the ESPN 300. And it’s no different now. Both players, who will become eligible to leave school after this season, are the top prospects at their positionsInsider in the 2016 NFL draft, per Todd McShay.

So what makes them great? Talent? Sure. That’s probably the biggest thing. But there is also a certain mentality that elite players always seem to possess. Some call it confidence. Others say its arrogance. But regardless of how you label it, Treadwell and Hargreaves have it.

"I want to be the best there ever was," Hargreaves told ESPN.com at SEC media days this summer. "That’s how I practice. That’s how I go about my day. That’s how I carry myself."

Said Treadwell this week: "I feel like I’m one of the better receivers in the country. I’ll continue to work like it and I’ll continue to prepare like it, and sooner or later, it will be shown."

Players of that caliber make great plays all the time. Just two weeks ago, Hagreaves snatched a deflected pass out of the air and nearly took it back for a touchdown against Kentucky. That same week, Treadwell climbed up over a defender and hauled in a critical 24-yard touchdown to help Ole Miss take down Alabama.

But those aren’t the plays they remember. They remember the plays when they missed a tackle or didn’t come down with a catch.

For Hargreaves, it was a missed tackle against Georgia last season.

For Treadwell, it was a pass he should have caught in the 2013 Under Armour All-America Game, a play in which he was matched up 1-on-1 with Hargreaves.

"I caught it, but he knocked it out at the last minute," Treadwell said. "It was a big play, and I never got another chance to make a play down the field on him."

The obvious next question: You still remember a specific play from a high-school all-star game where the final outcome was inconsequential?

"Oh yeah. Being a competitor, you’re always going to remember the plays you should’ve made and the big-time games," Treadwell said. "If you want to be the best, that’s going to stick with you. That’s going to motivate you to work harder.

"And I’m that type of guy where I want to be the best at everything I do. It doesn’t matter who I’m going against. It’s what I do that makes me better than them."

For what it’s worth, Hargreaves remembers the game, too. He remembers shutting down the nation’s top wide receiver and taking home MVP honors.

"I got after him," Hargreaves said. "He might have had like two screens for like three yards."

The matchup, a memorable one that entire week of the Under Armour game, will be renewed this Saturday when No. 3 Ole Miss travels to No. 25 Florida. The jerseys will be different. The supporting casts will be different. But it’s still best on best, and the players wouldn’t have it any other way.

Hargreaves has been talking it up since media days.

Treadwell, meanwhile, is still seeking redemption from three years ago.

"It’s a bragging-rights game," Treadwell admitted. "He got the best of me in the All-America game. But I don’t really want to make this about matchups. We’re 4-0. They’re 4-0. He’s going to do whatever he can to make his team win. I’m going to do whatever I can to make my team win. At the end of the game, we’ll see who has the best performance."

Enjoy Saturday. Barring a rematch in Atlanta, the next time you will see Hargreaves and Treadwell face off will be in the NFL.