Vernon Hargreaves is an American professional football cornerback who played for the Florida-based Tampa Bay Buccaneers after being voted 11th overall in the 2016 National Football League (NFL) draft. Vernon Hargreaves received a five-star rating from Rival.com and was projected to be both the nation’s best-recruited cornerback and second-best player overall.
In 2013, Hargreaves earned MVP honors in his high school senior year in the Under Armour All-American game after signing with the Gators.
Vernon Hargreaves Biography
Vernon Hargreaves III was born on June 3, 1995, in Tampa, Florida, the son of Vernon Hargreaves, Jr. and Jackie Hargreaves. He grew up in a soccer family alongside his two sisters Chanelle and Carina and thus had a solid athletic background.
His father was a former outstanding college footballer at the University of Connecticut, who served as a linebacker coach in Miami from 1998 to 2005, coached at the USF in Tampa for two years from 2010 to 2012, and then coached in Houston in 2013 and 2014.
Hargreaves grew up in Tampa and attended Wharton High School, where he started playing soccer. He combined studies and sports, competing in both athletics and soccer. From sophomore to senior year in high school, Hargreaves made a total of 203 tackles, 2 sacks, 9 interceptions, and 11 offensive touchdowns.
Not only in football but also in athletics, wherein his final year in the Hillsborough County National Division he set an impressive record in the 200m race with a personal best of 22.56 seconds, finished fourth in the 100m race, twelfth in the 1.78m high jump, and second in the 6.79m long jump.
With an excellent athletic record, Hargreaves received dozens of athletic scholarships from major top tier universities, but he chose to stay close to home and accepted the University of Florida scholarship. He played as a cornerback for the Florida Gators football team in the Southeastern Conference, SEC competition for three consecutive years from 2013 to 2015.
Vernon Hargreaves, who started out as a true college freshman in 2013, played 10 of 12 games with 38 tackles and 3 interceptions and earned his place as a cornerback for the first team of the All-SEC honors. In his school and junior years, he played 24 games with 73 tackles, seven interceptions, three forced fumbles, and 15 defended passes. As is customary for most American football players, Hargreaves announced that he will skip the senior team year to compete for the 2016 NFL Draft.
He debuted his professional football career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who voted him 11th overall in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft to play cornerback. On May 6, 2016, he signed a 4-year guaranteed contract with the Buccaneers for $14.17 million, including an $8.51 million bonus.
His first game in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ season opener at the Atlanta Falcons was a massive win, as he scored two combined tackles. At the start of the regular 2017 season, he was signed by head coach Dirk Koetter as a cornerback for the 2017 season, in which he and the team scored another 25-23 win over the New York Giants. Hargreaves reached a career climax this season on October 1 with nine solo tackles and defended a pass.
The following month, on November 12th, Hargreaves suffered a hamstring injury in the third quarter of the Buccaneers’ 15:10 winning match against the New York Jets. He made three combined tackles before leaving the game and remained inactive for weeks 11 to 15. He missed five games before the Buccaneers put him in the injured reserve on December 20, 2017.
In total, Hargreaves played nine games and eight starts and ended his second season with five passes and 42 combined tackles (37 solos).
Weight: 204 LBS
Arm Strength: 30 5/8″
Hands: 8 3/4″
Strengths: The NFL analysis of his strengths shows that Hargreaves has excellent body control and balance with electric feet. He is described as a top athlete with fast twitches, with his feet and hips pulsing explosively through his feet and hips, enabling his ability to explode forward and attack the throw.
He does not stay blocked and is fast in running support and against wide receiver screens; a rather fiery competitor and chest-up tackler running through his target.
Weakness: His slender, wiry build, and height are reportedly a constant source of contemplation for scouts, so large receivers are a challenge to the next level. His aggressive play makes him vulnerable to bait, and his willingness to throw himself into running support makes him vulnerable to failure. Nevertheless, Hargreaves does not stop impressing with his consistency and competitiveness in the field and earns great admiration. It’s a foregone conclusion that Vernon Hargreaves III has the footballing agility to become a pro bowl cornerback.