Florida CB Hargreaves already making an impact

By Adam Silverstein
September 26, 2013

Since the Florida Gators started keeping statistical records in 1996, only one player in school history has registered an interception in the first two games of his career. Unsurprisingly, he is the latest in a trend of exceedingly talented freshmen cornerbacks that have made names for themselves with the Gators.

Vernon Hargreaves III has busted onto the scene at Florida quicker and arguably with more of an immediate impact than players like Joe Haden and Janoris Jenkins, both high draft selections and current NFL starters.

That fact has not been overlooked by his coaches and teammates.

“Hargreaves is an outstanding player, man. I see him as a young guy and all I can remember is coming in here as a freshman and watching some of the other guys that I was around. Seeing him is just different. He’s a different dude. He’s a great player,” said redshirt junior Sam linebacker Ronald Powell.

According to a tweet from 247Sports.com’s Thomas Goldkamp, receivers covered by Hargreaves have been targeted just 13 times through three games despite his being on the field for starters’ minutes in the first two games and actually starting at nickel during last week’s 31-17 victory over Tennessee.

In those 13 pass attempts, Hargreaves has registered two interceptions and three pass breakups while allowing just three receptions for a total of 19 yards.

“He’s just a ball hawk. He’s just a player,” said sophomore Buck LB Dante Fowler, Jr., the Gators’ standout freshman from 2012. “I remember when Vernon was a junior and we were on the 7-on-7 teams and stuff like that, and he was like very, very quiet. Just to see him out there doing good things, that’s kind of funny. But he’s a ball hawk. He’s broken into it now.”

It became apparent early on that Hargreaves would be seeing significant playing time at Florida, but his consistency and top-notch work ethic have allowed his talent to shine.

“We’ll play freshmen when they’re ready and this guy’s ready. That’s the bottom line. He’s been productive in practice. He’s been productive in games. I’m young but I am old fashioned that it doesn’t just snap on game day and all of a sudden it happens and the guy plays really good,” head coach Will Muschamp said on Sept. 16.

“He produces in practice every single day going back to camp from day one to all the way through till he was injured, then he came back off his injury and was productive again, and then he does it on game day. That’s why he’s playing and really a guy that’s going to be in the rotation as far as starting.”

Defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin believes Hargreaves is mature beyond his age, an expected characteristic of a coaches’ son, and thinks it is pretty apparent how much of an asset he has already been for the Gators through three games.

His role and impact should only increase as the season goes along.

Florida’s opponent on Saturday has certainly taken notice. Just listen to what Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops had to say about Hargreaves on Thursday.

Photo Credit: Kim Klement/USA Today


  1. cline says:

    glad this isn’t an injury post

  2. zcgentry says:

    Haha no kidding Cline.

    He really is a stud though. Very good recruit and is already making a major difference. He had some big shows to fill coming in this year and has already proved himself. The sky is the limit for VH.

  3. GatorGrad98 says:

    That’s funny Cline… That’s the first thing I thought too!!!!

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