Vernon Hargreaves III is having a great season at Wharton (Tampa), but not necessarily at the position he was chosen for in the preseason American Family Insurance ALL-USA team.
Because few teams try to to throw against Wharton (5-2), Hargreaves, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior bound for Florida, has been playing more like a linebacker than a defensive back, using his speed to stop opponents.
Hargreaves kicks off the weekly American Family Insurance ALL-USA Watch. For the rest of the season, we’ll give a weekly look at football players who have either backed up the preseason hype or played their way into ALL-USA consideration.
The postseason ALL-USA team will be announced in December.
This week’s player: Wharton (Tampa) defensive back Vernon Hargreaves III
2012 Stats: Leads the team with 64 tackles and four interceptions through seven games
Best Games: Had 21 tackles in the Wildcats’ 37-7 defeat of Chamberlain (Tampa) on Sept. 14. He also had two interceptions in a 27-7 defeat of King (Tampa) on Aug. 31. He also had touchdown catches in each of those games. Had two interceptions and a touchdown catch last week in a 28-14 defeat of Bloomingdale (Valrico, Fla.).
Others’ Take: “He has the awareness of being around the football and good breaking speed on the football,” said Wharton coach David Mitchell.
Hargreaves’ father, also named Vernon, is an assistant coach at South Florida and says playing a little linebacker may help his son at the next level. “That will make him a little tougher and when he’s playing corner in college, he’s showing he can come up.”
Look Out For: Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) defensive back Kendall Fuller. Like Hargreaves, Fuller isn’t tested much as a defensive back, but he’s made several big plays for the 7-1 Falcons. Last week he had a touchdown catch and an interception in a 41-17 defeat of St. John's (Washington, D.C.). Against St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.), he had a 94-yard touchdown reception in a 14-10 win, and in a 13-10 defeat of DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.), he had a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Follow Jim Halley on Twitter @jimhalley.