This is the ninth profile in the Gator Prospectus series covering Florida’s 2013 in-state commits.
Name: Vernon Hargreaves III
Committed: July 26
School: Tampa Wharton
Height/Weight: 5-foot-11, 185 pounds
Scouting Report: Hargreaves could be a five-star athlete if he wanted to. In fact, Wharton defensive coordinator Kiwaukee Thomas has not played him at cornerback once this season. Hargreaves has instead lined up at both safety spots, all three linebacker positions and defensive end as well as quarterback, running back and receiver on offense. He’s even the team’s place holder on field goal attempts. His ability to play and understand multiple positions is due in large part to him being a coach’s son. His father, Vernon Hargreaves II, is the defensive ends coach and special teams coordinator for South Florida. Other than his size, which isn’t bad by any means, the younger Hargreaves has everything you want in a corner. He runs a legit 4.4, is physical enough to press and play in the box, and has some of the best cover skills you’ll ever see at the high school level. Hargreaves’ knowledge of the game is advanced beyond his years and that enables him to outsmart offenses with his football I.Q. In the passing game, he often recognizes routes before the quarterback does and is always right there to make a play. Florida’s history of starting true freshman cornerbacks will likely continue with Hargreaves in 2013.
For The Game: It didn’t take long for Hargreaves to make his presence felt in the District 6-8A matchup with Alonso. He returned the game’s opening kickoff 54 yards, which led to a Wharton touchdown. On the ensuing drive, Hargreaves made a difficult diving tackle on third down and then blocked the punt. He finished the game with seven tackles, a forced fumble, a quarterback hit and a 23-yard run on fourth-and-2. His efforts helped Wharton (7-2, 2-1) capture the district title with a 37-20 win over Alonso.
Quotable: “Other teams have to game plan around him. He’s one of the best players in the country and he does so much for my defense and our team. Wherever he plays at, he makes plays. He’s got the attitude that he wants to be the best and he works hard. He’s a team player that makes sacrifices and does whatever it takes to get the win. It’s just an honor coaching him. I don’t think he’ll get redshirted next year at Florida. He’ll come in and play nickel or dime inside because he understands what Muschamp is going to ask of him. So he’ll be a force to be reckoned with.” — Wharton defensive coordinator Kiwaukee Thomas.
Notable: Has attended several games this season and will officially visit on Dec. 8; will play in the Under Armour All-American Game on Jan. 4; a consensus a five-star prospect; competed in the Orlando Nike Football Training Camp, the IMG 7-on-7 tournament and The Opening; ranked No. 1 positionally and No. 3 overall by ESPN, ranked No. 2 positionally and No. 7 overall by Rivals.
Up next week on the Gator Prospectus — UF receiver commit Ahmad Fulwood.