The Pittsburgh Steelers have received some quality play from Javon Hargrave throughout his rookie contract, but the last two seasons Hargrave has proven he is so much more than your standard nose tackle. With the loss of Stephon Tuitt in 2019, Hargrave stepped up and filled the role as nose tackle, but also filling in the 3-4 Defensive End role at times too.
Hargrave has played so well he is likely to leave the Steelers via free agency this offseason, but it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be honored for his play on the field. If fans didn’t appreciate Hargrave, a very important entity did just that by naming him their Player of the Year.
I am referring to Hargrave being the recipient of the Black College Football Pro Player of the Year, an award presented by the NFL Players Association. The award is presented to a football player who attended a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), and Hargrave did just that attending South Carolina State.
“This is very big. It’s huge. It’s a blessing,” Hargrave told Teresa Varley of Steelers.com. “Just all the great players who came before me, players I look up to. It was a surreal moment when I heard about it. I was so happy when I learned that I won it. I can’t wait to get there and see all those all-time greats there. It’s a great feeling for me.
”I remember going to the same event when I was in college, seeing guys like Donnie Shell, Robert Porcher, both from South Carolina State, all of the NFL greats who came before me. I got a lot of pictures with them.
”It’s crazy I am going back to it in a whole other position. It’s special. It’s a great feeling for me and my family.”
2018 saw Hargrave register 6.5 sacks in a season, and he followed that up in 2019 with a career-high 60 tackles, four sacks and a forced fumble.
“I really try to get better every year,” said Hargrave. “Anytime I can do better than I did the year before, I am proud of that. That is something I look forward to every year, pushing myself to get better. I did everything I could to help the team and get better.”
The good news is Hargrave continues to be a player on the rise, but the bad news is there is a very good chance he continues that rise on another team.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they prepare for the 2020 offseason, free agency and of course the 2020 NFL Draft.