Tampa is full of young talented prospects and one of them is Wharton's Vernon Hargreaves III, a 2013 corner prospect that's been getting a lot of attention after stand-out performances in 7on7 tournaments and recent combines. The 5-foot-11, 177 pound athlete played cornerback and special teams as a sophomore, recording 44 tackles, with 31 of them solo, 2 interceptions and a whopping 16 passes deflected along with 2 sacks, a fumble recovery and also had a blocked punt on special teams.
This spring Hargreaves first emerged while playing for Team Tampa in the recent Badger 7on7 held at USF while helping his team to a top 3 finish and a spot in the national championship game. Playing on a team loaded with all-star recruits like Lakewood's Dante Fowler, Land O'Lakes' Kent Taylor, Berkeley Prep's Nelson Agholor, Jefferson's Tyriq McCord and Armwood's tandem of Jarvis McCall and Leon McQuay, the Wharton rising junior Hargreaves still was able to shine while going against the state's best.
"Playing in the 7on7 was really a great experience," said Hargreaves. "There was a lot of talent out there and it was good to see how you match up. I think I did pretty well."
He's also been tearing up the combine circuit, and at the recent ESS combine was named the top corner and nearly won the defensive MVP award while posting a sub 4.4- 40 and was outstanding during one-on-ones.
"I think I did alright, it was fun and I had a good time," said Hargreaves. "I ran a 4.31-40, a 10'2 broad jump, and a 4.03 shuttle. I did well in one-on-ones and had some good match-ups with the kid from Plant City (Lamarlin Wiggins). I think our quarterback Chase Litton (2014) was impressive. He's going to be something else."
On the recruiting front programs are showing interest in the 2013 cornerback prospect and recently Hargreaves received his first offer and a BCS one at that.
"USF has been showing a lot of interest and offered me a scholarship," said Hargreaves. "It was my first offer and I felt real excited to get it."
Hargreaves comes from great bloodlines; his dad Vernon Hargreaves II was a former standout player at UCONN and is a current assistant at USF, but VH3 has earned his spot as a top 2013 prospect on his own accord.
"I went over to the school and I spoke to coach Holtz and the defensive backs coach Rick Smith," said Hargreaves. "They said that we're not offering you because of your dad, but because we think you're a good player and a great kid. It feels real good, I like them as a program and it just boosts my confidence going forward.."
The stand-out corner prospect hasn't taken any visits yet, but has been to USF and went to a few spring games both on and off campus.
"I've been to USF and it's nice. I went to the spring games at Raymond James and the one on campus," said Hargreaves. "I haven't really seen the whole thing like the practice facilities and stuff like that yet, but I will soon enough."
With his first offer from USF in hand Hargreaves said other teams are also beginning to show interest in him.
"I've gotten some letters from different programs," said Hargreaves. "Several coaches said they're going to come out this spring and check me out."
Hargreaves is preparing for spring ball and is looking forward to getting more opportunities to showcase his skills. The talented rising junior says what makes him a special player and what he wants to work on.
"I'm a good cover corner and I can play man-to-man," said Hargreaves. "My best assets are my speed, ball awareness, cover skills, and I'm not afraid to mix it up. I just want to keep working hard to be the best player I can be."
With the spring evaluation period just beginning expect plenty of offers to follow, so stay tuned with USFNation.com as we keep you updated on Vernon Hargreaves III recruitment.