Two of the three Southeastern Conference defensive backs picked for the 2015 Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list spoke with the press on Monday on the first day of SEC Media Days.
Auburn senior cornerback Jonathan Jones, who had six interceptions last season, was thrilled to be among those chosen.
“It would mean a lot,” Jones said when asked about the prospect of being named the nation’s top defensive back, “but my main goal is to do what I have to do for this team. Individually, the accolades will come later if I perform the way I should perform.”
Of course, Jones probably isn’t considered the top cover man in the SEC. That distinction belongs to Florida junior cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III.
“I do consider myself the best corner in the country, and being on the Thorpe list is an honor,” Hargreaves said. “Individual awards aren’t really big in my book, but I’m glad that they think that highly of me that I can be on their watch list. If everything plays out, hopefully I can win it. That would be great, too.”
College receivers might not have to worry about Jones or Hargreaves beyond next season.
Asked if he’d given any thought to leaving early for the NFL, Hargreaves said, “Oh, all the time.”