Posts tagged Ra'Shede Hageman
Posts tagged Ra'Shede Hageman
4. Ra'Shede Hageman | DT | Junior | 6'6” 300 lbs. G TK Solo TFL SK FF 12 13 10 3.5 2.0 1 Photo credit: Chris Polydoroff/Pioneer Press
Last November at TCF Bank Stadium, Ra’Shede Hageman crouched in his four point stance as Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase barked out signals and adjusted his offense. The QB snapped the ball and Hageman bull rushed past Illinois center Graham Pocic with a combination of power and speed that would fit in perfectly on a high school recruit’s highlight tape.
Looking at the clip now, there’s no need to put a red circle around Hageman. It’s impossible to ignore him once the play starts. Hageman tosses Pocic out of his way, fends off a desperate flail from a second lineman, Alex Hill, and wraps his arms around Scheelhaase, tossing him to the turf and causing the QB to fumble the ball.
Maybe there was a blocking mishap and Hill was late to his double team. Maybe Hageman was finally realizing the potential he brought to Dinkytown when he enrolled in 2009. Recruiting expert Tom Lemming named him the No. 1 tight end prospect in the nation coming out of Washburn High School, but Hageman was quickly moved to defensive end. He struggled with picking up the techniques of defensive line in his first two years in Minnesota, but stood out near the end of last year with two sacks against Illinois and four tackles against Iowa. Worth noting, his two sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss and 12 of 13 total tackles came within the last six games of the year.
Talent and size will never be an issue with Hageman. It will be technique, football IQ and desire that defines his career. Call him the football team’s version of Rodney Williams. There’s a reason that MV dubbed him “Optimus Prime.”
Can Hageman put it together this year as a junior? So far, reports from the spring are an emphatic “Yes.” But legends are not judged by how well they dominated their teammates in spring practice. Hageman was suspended in 2010 by then interim coach Jeff Horton for academic troubles. Also of note, Hageman was arrested this spring for disorderly conduct, although some blog postings at the the time said that he was trying to break up a fight, rather than start one. The charges were eventually dropped June 11. Hopefully that’s a sign of his progress.
Again, it’s clear Hageman has the potential. The Gophers need him to translate that into consistent production like the Illinois game and the second half of last season, with Hageman wreaking havoc on the opposing offensive line, disrupting both the running and passing games. If Hageman reaches his potential, gone are the days of quarterbacks like Zac Dysert scrambling around like Fran Tarkenton, waiting for receivers to break free. The Gophers should also receive help up front from junior college transfer Roland Johnson.
Some fans have said that Hageman could be the second-most important player on the Gophers this year and I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with them. It’s up to Hageman to finally fulfill that promise.