Hello: Will Hagerup

Submitted by Tim on September 27th, 2009 at 5:22 PM

One of the nation's top punters has committed to Michigan, which like, hooray. Informative update coming a little bit later.

Informative update:

Will Hagerup is a 6-4 punter from Wisconsin who is now committed to be a Michigan Wolverine.



Scout Rivals ESPN
3*, #3 P 3*, #4 K 4*, 79, #3 K

While Hagerup is Rivals's #4 kicker, the top three guys are all expected to kick, not punt, in college. He's their #1 punter. Why does Rivals get so specific as to separate scatbacks from tailbacks in their rankings, but can't differentiate punters from kickers? Beats the hell out of me.

Hagerup was the #2 punter at a regional kicking camp this summer, and came in for a bit of praise:

Looking more like a tight end prospect, Hagerup's continued physical growth could strengthen his already strong leg and delivery. One of the things Hagerup -- who holds offers from programs like Florida, Purdue, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio State and Michigan -- said college coaches note that they like about him is his size. The sought-after punter did not come into the camp complacent. He finished second in the charting and battled until the end in the punt competition, proving why he is one of the top punting prospects in the 2010 class.

He is Chris Sailer's #3 punter in the class, and Sailer (predictably) only has nice things to say about him:

William is a very solid punter. He is big, tall, strong and athletic.  He has all the tools to be an outsanding college punter. Steadily improving player that is showing that he has what it takes to be one of the very best punters in this class! Also has the ability to kick.

ESPN really likes the kid, and if you know anything about kicking or punting (I don't), their evaluation might have some meaning to you:

He has had multiple great performances at Kohl's kicking camp and he can hit punts that have more than a five second hang time. His drop table is low and his leg swing is consistent and straight. Hagerup gets great toe depression on his punts, has proven himself in pressure situations and may also be able to kick off in college.

Yay for low drop table and great toe depression. Hagerup is a serious prospect, and a consensus top guy in the class, as will be evidenced by the...


Hagerup had as many offers as you can possibly expect a kicking specialist to receive. Among many, many others, his finalists were Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Florida. Considering the weight Urban Meyer puts on special teams, that last one is a biggie.


High school stats probably aren't super-relevant for a high school kicker, but Hagerup attended several camps in the summer before his senior year, during which he averaged 44.5 yards per kick, with a 4.39 second hang time. His size (6-4, 215) is apparently also a big draw for college coaches.


Punters don't have 40 times (at least not relevant ones), but Will Hagerup is not your average punter. He's listed at 4.8 on Scout, which doesn't sound too particularly FAKE. However, that is a pretty impressive time for a kicking specialist (and puts him on par with JT Floyd... ZING!), so I will give it one FAKE out of three.


Punters don't have highlight reels, so... wait, what? The Will Hagerup highlight reel:

This is obviously the film that he sent to coaches—note the contact information at the end (I said "note" not "creepily use")—and features him punting, kicking, and playing corner(!). Rodriguez offered a scholarship as soon as he heard the AC/DC kick in.


Well, this should be easy. Zoltan (praised be His name) is on his way out of town following the 2009 season, and Hagerup will hit campus immediately thereafter. He is the "most college-ready" punter in the class, so he should be able to step right in and become the starter.

There don't appear to be any real options for redshirting him, unless Gibbons or Wright was to be the starting punter next year. Since Gibbons is the kicker, and Rodriguez clearly wants to have separate specialists for each role (see: offering a scholarship to a punter when you have a freshman kicker waiting in the wings), Hagerup is your man.


Hagerup was the only serious option for a scholarship punter in the class. The staff missed out on in-state Mike Sadler because they were waiting on Hagerup. They got their man. He'll be the only specialist in the class of 2010.

Etc.: His older brother is the punter for Indiana, which you may recall from this weekend.



September 27th, 2009 at 5:47 PM ^

Do you think that the amount of love that we shower upon Zoltan had something to do with this? How many teams can say that their punter has fans wearing his number in the stands?


September 27th, 2009 at 5:50 PM ^

Thanks for answering my question. I wonder if Will got the cold shoulder from his brother after the game or if punters are just indifferent other than what they do. Personally, I wish we could just clone the Space Emperor every four years, but hopefully we maintain strength in our special teams.


September 28th, 2009 at 1:00 AM ^

at yourselves when you rehash the same tired jokes twice a week? Ha ha ha, we get it, RR receives many commitments from 3 star recruits. OMGLOLZGDEY, a reporter once stated that Dantonio had the state of Michigan locked down, recruiting wise. We all get it. Have you also noticed that airplane food sucks, and that there is often a long line at the supermarket?

This is more a blanket statement which should be aimed towards a larger percentage of the MgoCommunity, but give it a rest. You didn't invent the jokes you are laughing out loud at.

Did you hear the one when Charlie Weis and Mark Mangino are locked in a room with only one bucket of chicken? Yes you have. We all have.


September 27th, 2009 at 7:46 PM ^

I understand that Wil Hagerup is also a decent place kicker. I used to think that one should be able to punt and kick. However, I heard one of the "experts" on tv say that they are two different skill sets, and that it requires a different set of body mechanics. Then he said the reason why most kickers don't do both is because of an extra risk of injury. I don't know how true any of this is, but it may be the reason why teams have a specialist in both areas. In any case, welcome to Michigan.


September 27th, 2009 at 7:54 PM ^

Going off the Zoltan "Space Emperor" love and the earlier name-change idea, maybe all Michigan punters should now change their name when they get to campus, like the Pope or a king.

As said earlier, this is a big get considering we need a punter, he's highly ranked, and he's the only guy we really went after. Welcome to the fold, Zoltan II.

Shalom Lansky

September 27th, 2009 at 8:11 PM ^

With great interest I read about Hagerup's "toe depression" and "drop table" but I didn't make it to the end of the paragraph without laughing at myself for being so happy about something I know so little about.

Here's to great toe depression!


September 27th, 2009 at 11:20 PM ^

"if you want blood, you got it" in his highlight. Some fairly surprising music. I was then hoping to see the ball to come out of a low orbit and impale people. I was somewhat disappointed when I saw none of the sort.


September 28th, 2009 at 4:04 AM ^

Since he clearly can make a FG from 50 yards (at 44 the ball went over the top of the poles) maybe he can also be a long range FG kicker too! Get a normal FG kicker with accuracy and let him kick from 45 yards and in. Bring out Hagerup for 60 and under. Also, the cool thing about having Hagerup kick really, really long FGs is that he can pooch put or attempt the FG.

P.S. On Hail Mary attempts maybe he can play a deep safety. I'd rather have a 6'4 semi athletic guy back there then a 5'10 CB.