Hargrove ready to rumble

The University of Pittsburgh's football team will gain the addition of a standout defensive end originally set to join the team in August. Defensive end Justin Hargrove has fully recovered from his cranial injury and appears "ready to rumble" on the football field. The PantherDigest.com recently spoke with him about his future.

"I'm set to join the football team in January. I'm really excited to get my football career at Pitt started," stated standout defensive end Justin Hargrove (6-foot-4 inches, 245 pounds) from Baldwin High School in Pittsburgh, PA.

Hargove's senior season was cut short due to a brain contusion from head to head contact during a game. To properly allow Justin to recover, he agreed to accept a grayshirt. Instead of joining the Panthers in August, he was given an additional semester to heal.

"I'm fully cleared to play football. There aren't any issued," said Hargrove. "I have been taking a few courses and preparing myself for a full course load."

A physical specimen at nearly 250 pounds, Hargove continues to diligently hit the gym preparing for the rigors of football. "I have been lifting weights on my own. Right now I can bench press 405 pounds and squat 450 pounds," said Hargrove. "I tried to get down to the South Side and work out with the team but that eventually became tough because I don't have a car. It just was easier doing it on my own."

When asked about the Panthers season, Justin quickly replied, "I think they're doing much better than the year before. You can see improvement everywhere. I know they dropped the game on Saturday but I still can see the program moving forward. I can't wait to join them."

Hargrove played diverse roles during his high school career including linebacker, defensive back, tailback and fullback. He registered 13 tackles and one sack in less than two games his senior season. Justin is capable of running a 4.6 forty-yard dash.

"I'm very excited to join the team. I truly feel that I can step in and contribute. I bring a good combination of size and speed. I can't wait to be a Panther and get some game action. It's been too hard standing on the sidelines."

NOTE: Justin Hargrove, along with punter Dave Brytus (Purdue trasfer), will count against the 2007 scholarship count.

Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at harryspsaros@msn.com.

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