2010 Countdown: #15 Will Hagerup

2010 Countdown: #15 Will Hagerup


August 19, 2010


Name: Will Hagerup
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 210 lbs.
High school: Whitefish Bay High School in Milwaukee, WI
Position: Punter
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #43
Prediction for 2010: Punter

Hagerup was the #3 kicker in the country according to Rivals and played in the Army All-American Game back in January. He steps into a good situation for a freshman punter. Michigan’s most beloved punter, Zoltan Mesko, graduated to the New England Patriots and there are zero other punters on the roster. It was an ideal situation for a freshman looking to play immediately, and Hagerup was the only specialist that Michigan offered in the entire class. Luckily for the Wolverines, their one offer at the position was accepted.

The importance of the punter position is underrated by many football fans, especially when it comes to consistency. Mesko improved throughout his five years at Michigan, averaging just over 41 yards per punt in his redshirt freshman and redshirt sophomore years before improving to 44.5 yards on average as a senior. More importantly, though, his kicks were often booted high in the sky, allowing coverage teams to converge on the returner. And perhaps even more importantly, Mesko rarely suffered through shanked punts.

Mesko was the first punter/kicker selected in the 2010 NFL Draft, so it’s unlikely to expect the same kind of success for Hagerup. And as mentioned above, Mesko had the freedom to redshirt as a freshman. That’s not the case with Hagerup, whose competition for the job is virtually nil. It’s his job to lose, and he has reportedly looked good thus far in fall camp. With a new placekicker and a new punter – both of whom will likely be freshmen – Michigan’s special teams will probably be shaky in 2010, but Hagerup should provide a small iota of stability in comparison.

4 comments

  1. Comments: 21395
    Anonymous
    Aug 19, 2010 at 2:02 PM

    Really what does it say about your team when the #15 most important player is a punter?

  2. Comments: 21395
    Aug 19, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    @ Anonymous 10:02 a.m.

    It means our defense is really bad and we're going to need excellent special teams in order to pin other teams deep in their own territory.

  3. Comments: 21395
    Anonymous
    Aug 19, 2010 at 2:34 PM

    ask wisconsin how important punters were wen they played FSU in a bowl game a few years ago. i was laughing so hard because both offenses couldnt do crap. fsu was just bad and wisconsin was pinned on the 1 on 3 seperate occasions. not even good coverage, it just dropped on the 1 and stayed.

    -horn

  4. Comments: 21395
    Anonymous
    Aug 19, 2010 at 4:07 PM

    horn:

    Good recall — that was one of the most amazing punting performances (attributable to some combination of luck/skill) that I've ever seen. It was comical.

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