If you haven’t heard of Ra’Shede Hageman by now, it’s time to get with the program.
Hageman, a 6-foot-6, 312 lbs defensive tackle, is ranked No. 2 on CBS Sports Freaks List, billed as “The 20 craziest athletes in college football.”
Hageman ranks behind only defensive end Jadeveon Clowney of South Carolina on the list compiled by college football insider, Bruce Feldman, which is an honor in itself given that most of America has already recognized Clowney’s freakish speed and size. And for Hageman to rank behind Clowney, who could easily be a top-5 NFL draft pick in 2013, is a great honor for any Gopher.
The redshirt senior from Washburn High School in Minneapolis recorded six sacks for the Gophers in his junior season and was named honorable mention All-Big Ten by the media. It made news when Hageman announced that he would be returning for his senior season, considering he would have likely been drafted in the first three rounds had he declared.
The converted tight end has a vertical of 36 inches and has been known to be a force not only on the turf, but only on the basketball court, where he used to compete against former Gopher Royce White in AAU games.
Not only does he have the 36-inch vert, but he also has bench-pressed 465 pounds and clocked an electronically timed 10-yard sprint in 1.57 seconds. For comparison sake, no DT at this year’s NFL Combine jumped higher than 33 inches, and Terron Armstead, the offensive tackle who ran the blazing 4.71 40 at the combine, did a 1.64 in his 10.
Tubby Smith once even tried to persuade Hageman to try out for the basketball team, but Hageman opted out to instead focus on football. His strength and speed would make a freakish basketball player, but given his size (he’s put on more than 60 pounds since high school), perhaps his talents are best for the football field.
With his final year of eligibility around the corner, Hageman seems committed to hitting the gym during the offseason to raise his draft stock come the fall football season. Barring any injuries, Hageman will be the Gopher to watch this upcoming season — not only that, but it is likely that Hageman will break a string of years where no Gophers were drafted.