LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- When five-star cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III (Tampa, Fla./Wharton) made his pledge to Florida on Thursday afternoon, he knew it was for good.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound athlete recently visited several school including Oregon, USC, Stanford and Vanderbilt. After completing his trips, the Under Armour All-American decided it was time to make a decision.
"I don't really like picking schools for a reason," Hargreaves said. "Because that reason could leave. Like you could pick somewhere for a coach and that coach could leave. I just feel like as a recruit that we all just have this feeling, like we all know where we want to go. I knew after I took my visits. While I was taking my visits, every school I would compare to Florida. I wouldn't compare it to anyone else."
Hargreaves' father, Vernon Hargreaves Jr., is the defensive ends and special teams coach at USF. The younger Hargreaves, said he got his father's blessing before making his decision public.
"I talked to my dad about it," he said. "He was like, 'Well that's probably where you probably want to go and where you need to be. That's probably the best decision for you.' He wasn't upset, he understands that it's a business."
His father wasn't the only blessing he needed. Fortunately for Hargreaves, it was an easy sell to convince his mother. Hargreaves' older sister, Carina, is a cheerleader for the Gators. His younger sister, Chanelle, will be a national volleyball recruit and she is considering Florida, too, according to Hargreaves.
"My mom loves Florida," he said. "My sister goes there. My sister was excited. She bought me a cake and all this stuff. My little sister was excited, too, because she plays volleyball. She's probably going to be better than I am in high school. I'd never tell her that, though. She's probably going to get recruited by Penn State and Florida and all those schools."
At No. 4, Hargreaves is the highest nationally ranked recruit to commit to Florida head coach Will Muschamp. Hargreaves said Muschamp and Florida defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson were ecstatic to learn of his decision to commit to the Gators.
"Ah man, he went nuts, they went nuts," Hargreaves said. "Him and coach T-Rob went nuts on me. They were hugging me and yelling and screaming and stuff. It was a nice feeling."
As for any future recruiting plans, Hargreaves, who is competing on the Southeast team at Champion Gridiron Kings this weekend in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., said his mind is made up and he will not take any further visits.
"I'm done," Hargreaves said. "I've taken all the visits I needed. I'll probably take an official to Florida maybe. I'm probably going to be up there every three weeks. Just drive up there and see what's up, watch practice a little bit."
Florida now has four defensive back commits rated four-star prospects or higher in Tre' Bell, Keanu (Kiki) Neal, Nick Washington and Hargreaves. Washington said he was excited to hear about his friend committing to the Gators.
"I feel like the whole class is elite, but our DB class now with Tre', Kiki, and now Vernon and me, our DB class is definitely special," Washington said. "It really feels great. Our secondary is going to be crazy."
Hargreaves admits that knowing several of the Florida commits played a role in his decision.
"Knowing who I'm going to play with helps," he said. "You don't really want to go in to somewhere where you really don't know any of the players in your class and how they are. I met some of their players and they are just like me. They are humble, they want to get down to business, they like to go to work."