Austin’s Hagan signs with Southwest Minnesota State University
Published 6:36 pm Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Austin senior Andrew Hagan has always been one of the biggest kids on the football field, but now he’s ready to take on some players his own size.
Hagan, a 6-foot, five-inch, 330-pound, offensive lineman, signed his national letter-of-intent to play Division II college football with a partial athletic scholarship at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall next season.
Hagan will also compete on SMSU’s track and field team as a thrower.
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“I’m really excited and kind of scared to see other bigger guys that can perform at a high level,” Hagan said. “In high school I was lucky to be bigger and be able to go out there and kind of work hard in practice and then go out there and mow people down [in games]. In college you have to work hard every day and you can’t slack anywhere. You’ve got to go out there and go for blood.”
Hagan played center for the Packers this past season and he will play either guard or center for the Mustangs, who graduated all five of their offensive linemen from last season.
Hagan isn’t sure if he’ll red-shirt or play his freshman season, but the opportunity for him to break into the lineup is there.
“For all I know by the end of fall camp I’ll be starting,” he said. “It just depends on how I perform, how the other recruits perform and how the veterans perform. Every spot is up for the taking.”
Up until two nights ago, Hagan was set to sign with Northern State in Aberdeen, S.D. Then SMSU gave him a call and told him what it had to offer.
Hagan liked what he heard.
“They really talked themselves up and I looked into it,” Hagan said. “It was just a perfect fit for me. It’s nice to go to a place where they teach you the right techniques and I like the coaches. They made it a second home for me.”
Hagan is the first Packer football player to sign with an athletic scholarship in at least a decade. He played on the Packer varsity squad as a freshman and he was a starter for three years.
“It feels great making history, but at the same time it’s a bummer,” Hagan said. “It’s an honor, but I wish there would’ve been more.”
Before his signing day, Hagan reached out to his older brother Will, who played football at Luther College for four years. Will played safety for the Packers in high school and he had some advice for his younger, but bigger brother.
“I talked to Will last night and he said you better put your working boots on because you’ll need them,” Hagan said. “[Will] had to work very hard at his level. I imagine at a very good Division II team, you have to work even harder and dedicate yourself.”
Hagan said he has a chance to earn a scholarship in track and field as well if he performs at a high enough level. He also thanked his parents, coaches and teachers for helping him out along the way.
SMSU, which is located in Marshall, Minn., threw 552 times for 2,958 yards and averaged 40.8 points per game last season. The Mustangs play in the Northern Sun Conference and they finished 7-5 overall last season.