The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced on Friday that the team has signed cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III, the team’s first-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Hargreaves III (5-10, 204) was chosen 11th overall out of the University of Florida, where he started 35-of-37 career games, totaling 121 tackles, three tackles for loss, 28 passes defensed, nine interceptions (returned 191 yards), two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. He was named a unanimous All-American after his junior season, while earning first-team All-SEC all three seasons he played, including unanimous selections following both his junior and sophomore campaigns.
Vernon Hargreaves – Getty Images
The Tampa native was one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award in 2015, given annually to the best defensive back in college football, and was a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award in both 2014 and 2015, presented annually to the best defensive player in the country. He will wear No. 28 for Tampa Bay.
Last week, during his introductory press conference, Hargreaves talked about having confidence as an NFL player.
“Confidence isn’t something that leaves you, it’s with you,” Hargreaves said. “It’s something that you have and it’s kind of like a trial and error thing. I’m going to go in and whatever happens, happens. You know, I’m going to get beat and if I get beat I have to bounce back, make more plays and I’m going to learn. There’s a whole bunch of good guys that I’m here to learn – you know, Brent Grimes is a guy that I really look up to. I like to model his game, so I’m going to be in his pocket, asking him a bunch of questions and he’s going to be annoyed with me, but he’s just going to have to deal with me for a little bit.”
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
Kudos to the front office for signing players ASAP. That’s good for morale and keeps contract distractions at a minimum.
Suddenly, this defense doesn’t look so shabby on paper. I think Mike Smith was a great addition to the staff and can’t wait to see how all of the pieces come together.
Yes ,agreed, much like Koetter being our biggest pick up of last years offseason, I think Mike Smith can do the same for our defense.
I just hope we can get a couple of years of coaching out of him before the rest of league comes calling with a HC position.
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