The hype around Ra’Shede Hageman’s senior season is building as the defensive lineman was named to the 2013 Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List on Monday.
The award, given out every year since 1970, is bestowed on the best college football lineman or linebacker. Hageman is one of 12 Big Ten players on the early list.
In addition to the Lombardi list, Hageman has also been named as a contender for the Outland Trophy, Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Chuck Bednarik Award. He has also been named to several All-Big Ten Preseason rosters this offseason.
If Hageman is able to win the award at the end of the season, he would become the ninth Gopher to take home a national award, according to Gopher Sports.
At 6-foot-6 and 311 pounds, Hageman has been called an athletic “freak” on the defensive line and barring any setbacks in his final year of eligibility, he could be picked in the NFL draft as early as the first round.
Hageman considered entering the draft after his junior year but ultimately decided to stay the extra year after recording 35 tackles and six sacks, including six tackles and a sack against Texas Tech in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
A Minneapolis native, Hageman was a highly recruited athlete from Washburn High School where he was a three-star recruit with offers from Iowa, Michigan State, Ohio State and Florida.
In addition to football, Hageman is a gifted basketball player. Former head coach Tubby Smith once tried to get him to try out for the Gophers, but Hageman wanted to focus on football.
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