ACC Player Spotlight: Bryce Hargrove
We’re back with another player spotlight looking at some of my players I’m most looking forward to watching in the ACC. We covered Louisville’s Tutu Atwell, next up is Pitt LG Bryce Hargrove. Hargrove started his football career his junior year of high school at Coventry High School in Akron, Ohio, where he also played some defensive line. He was the first player from there to earn a D1 football scholarship since 1962. After a redshirted true freshman season and one game appearance in his second season, he was the 6th OL for Pitt and started the final three games of the 2018 campaign at left guard. In the 2019 season as a redshirt junior he started at left guard for all 13 games, only surrendered one sack on the season, and was named a third team All-ACC selection. I jumped into the film to see what made him so successful and his projection going forward.
Hargrove stands 6’4, 320 pounds good size for a guard in the League. His biggest strength is, well, his strength, particularly in the run game. He is very good at moving bodies off the line of scrimmage using solid footwork and hand placement. In pass protection he needs to learn to better use that strength to make an anchor because he can play a little high. For power rushers he is seemingly walked back fairly often but can misdirect their rush off the path of the QB using good footwork and redirection skills. He is sometimes given the responsibility of the corner and his movement skills on the corner are solid, which adds some versatility though it shouldn’t be a regular occurrence.
What he needs to work on the most is being able to adjust when things don’t go according to plan. On passing plays if he doesn’t see the man lined up on him come, it takes him longer than it should to adjust and pick up the stunting rusher. A part of this is that he struggles with speed, so explosive DT or blitzers with a head of steam consistently give him fits. In run plays he is often lost when he reaches the second level and gets turned around way too much for my liking.
What I want to see from him in his progression to be a starting caliber guard is better processing and the development of a sturdier anchor. Last year was his first full year starting and the team had 3 other new starters. With more time together, we may see better processing as a whole but even more in games by the defensive front. He has good traits like footwork and redirection, but he could rise quickly if he builds upon that solid base with more experience. Hargrove is a name to watch as he has the opportunity to rise up some boards.