The book seems simple for the son of a college coach. Perception is that you get special treatment, advanced coaching and the inside leads on how to play at the next level. But what happens when your father is not only your dad, but is also a coach at one of the 30-plus schools recruiting you?
“Its not like most people think,” says the nation’s top-prospect Vernon Hargreaves III. “It’s probably going to take up more time next year, but that’s his job, that’s what he has to do.”
Hargreaves spent nine years in Miami before moving to North Carolina – and back to Florida in 6th grade. He moved back to North Carolina where he spent his 7th, 8th and 9th grade school years.
“Football up there is completely different; It’s not anywhere near as competitive – everyone runs the veer,” Hargreaves said with a laugh.
He returned to Florida and settled in Tampa for his 10th grade year. He had only been playing for three years, but says he spent a lot of time in the weight room and working out individually before his sophomore year.
“Everything just kind of happened,” Hargreaves said of his recruitment. “I was working hard and everything just kind of happened for me.”
He didn’t realize how good he was. His father never inflated him with compliments, never fed him the promises many parents do.
“I overheard him talking to one of his friends one day and he said ‘yeah, my son is turning into a pretty good stud,’” Hargreaves said.
The compliment was innocent. In football we hear the term ‘stud’ used loosely. But to Vernon it meant more.
“I overhear my dad talking to kids on the phone sometimes, recruiting them, and I hear him in the background say ‘this is a stud,’” he explained. To Vernon hearing him dad say that meant he had potential. “I realized [after] that I was actually pretty good.
“My dad doesn’t ever give me or my sister, who is a really really good volleyball player, many compliments so when I heard him say that it was pretty neat. That boosted my confidence.
That confidence has evolved to unbelievable talent and raw ability. But still – it hasn’t gotten to his head.
“I like talking other people up … I don’t want to be the only one that comes out of Wharton,” he said. Although not known for being a verbal leader, Hargreaves has served as a role model to a number of Wildcats.
“When I started getting highly recruited everyone would come up and talk to me asking me what I was doing and stuff so it really helped with my leadership,” he said.
“I don’t want to be the only one that people talk about. I want people to remember the team. I want people to know that you don’t have to be 6-8 or be the coach’s son to get recruited. It was kind of my goal just to help everyone out and get their work ethic right.”
This summer Hargreaves plans on taking a number of unofficial visits and will start up north and hit a lot of schools on the way down to Florida. “Nothing is specific though. I’m just gonna let it play out.”
Hargreaves says that currently his top schools are: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Southern California, South Florida and Louisiana State University in no particular order.