Vernon Hargreaves III was a young boy with a dream – who’s now a man on a mission.
The sophomore All-American began his career with the Florida Gators the summer of 2013 after being one of the most highly sought after high school products in the country. The Tampa native from Wharton High School was recruited by nearly every major conference in the country and ranked No. 1 nationally among cornerbacks. Most 18-year-old freshmen enter their first year of college nervous, wide-eyed and intimidated – not Hargreaves. VH3 who headlined UF’s impressive class of 2013 was brimming with experience and talent at the cornerback position embraced the opportunity to play for the country’s toughest conference, and immediately made a big debut and impact on the Gators squad.
Hargreaves began his freshman campaign with his first interception in Florida’s season opener against Toledo, and then snatched another interception in his second game; snagging a total of three interceptions in his first four games. After that he quickly moved up the depth chart, starting the final 10 games of the season at cornerback. In just his first year at the University of Florida, he was named a Third Team All-American by the Associated Press, the National Defensive Freshman of the Year by College Football News, as well as First Team All-SEC. In addition, Hargreaves recorded 38 tackles and 11 pass breakups which tied Janoris Jenkins in 2008 for the most by a freshman in school history; becoming one of the best freshmen in college football after a sensational year.
Many believe it’s VH3’s relentless attitude, incredible work ethic, and great leadership qualities are among the reasons why he exceeded all expectations of a true freshman and is one of the best players on Florida’s 2014 roster. But Hargreaves father and longtime college football coach, Vernon Hargreaves II, says there’s no words to describe it- it’s just in him. He immersed himself in the game he loves as a child and his passion for football has only flourished through the years.
It’s back to the gridiron for Hargreaves and the Florida football team as they prepare for the upcoming season. With his second season at UF right around the corner, 5-foot-11, 192 pound Hargreaves is focused on setting an example for the secondary, which loses Jaylen Watkins, Loucheiz Purifoy, and Marcus Roberson to the NFL. All eyes are on Florida and anticipation is high among fans for big time playmakers like VH3 to help the Gators kick off to a much better season – and you can expect this second year star to shine making an encore as a full-time starter this fall.
Here’s a preview of the Gators upcoming season featuring Hargreaves.
And his first interception for the Gators against Toledo.