Leaving Las Vegas

For many Las Vegas is the ultimate entertainment capital of the world. Name any kind of show or event, and this city has it. However, when it comes to sports and college Football in specific, this city of many temptations could not sway wide receiver Derek Hagan from changing his commitment from UNLV to Arizona Sate.

"I committed to UNLV in December during my trip. That school and ASU were the only trips I took." Says the Palmdale high school graduate. "But ASU never stopped contacting me, even after they knew I was committed. They were after me for a long time, and they were serious about recruiting me. They said that ASU would be the best place for me, and I listened to them because I was kinda regretting my decision anyway. I knew UNLV would never have a chance to play in the Rose Bowl or the national championship, and ASU does. ASU never pressured me to reconsider." When it came time to visit the Sun Devils, the of process of decommiting from UNLV in favor of ASU accelerated: "When I went on the ASU trip, I realized that this is a big time Pac-10 school. I always knew I could play in this conference, so that was another reason that I committed…Adrian Thomas was my host. The players were real cool. The stadium really impressed me. I liked the practice facilities too. The campus is real nice. I had a good trip, but I came home and sat down for a few days trying to decide. I made my decision a few days after I came back from ASU. It was an easy decision for me to decommit from UNLV."

The All-Region PrepStar honorable mention, stresses that the Las Vegas live style wasn't one of the factors that aided his decision. "It didn't bother me that the UNLV campus is so close to the strip. I know how to look out for myself, and I know that when if I went to school there, I wouldn't hang out at the strip instead of going to classes. I've been to Vegas so many times, I don't have to go to school there." Hagan who was voted the team's Most Valuable Player as a junior and a senior has been following the Sun Devils for quite some time. "I knew about ASU for a while. I had banners and posters of them up on my wall. Being around L.A., I did watch UCLA and USC a lot on TV, but they turned me off when they recruited me. UCLA were recruiting all these guys who can't play receiver, and USC wanted me to play linebacker or safety. I just got tired of them, and when their coaches called I wouldn't even pick up the phone. I also wanted to get away from home, and be on my own anyway. So not going to a school in L.A. is cool." Aside from both L.A. schools, ASU and UNLV, the receiver lists Fresno St. and Colorado St., as the schools that were recruiting him.

Hagan was a standout cornerback and receiver in high school. The first-team all-Golden League caught 65 passes for 843 yards (a school record) and five touchdowns, along with nine interceptions. So when it comes to playing a specific position what does the future hold for this incoming freshman? "Coach English (ASU's cornerbacks coach) joked around and said that even though I'm being recruited as wide receiver, he could use a tall cornerback (smile). I'm just working out as being a receiver. That's what I prefer." The member of the Los Angeles Daily News' All-C.I.F. team is confident about his skills "I have good hands, and I can jump high. You can pretty much throw the ball over the corner's head, and I'll jump and catch it. I run a 4.5, but I do need to get faster." When we asked him about his chances of playing this year, he said: "From what the coaches told me, I'm probably not gonna redshirt. But I know I have to work hard to play right away."

The wide receiver recognizes the importance of spending the off-season in Tempe, and will arrive here shortly. "I'm coming out June 22nd. I'm ready to go. I'm anxious, and a little bit nervous. Everybody is telling me how much faster the game is than high school. I have a lot of friends who just finished their first year in college, and I've been working out with them. They weren't that fast before they started college, and now I'm trying to catch up with them. So, I think I'll get faster and stronger in college too…(fellow ASU incoming freshman) Mike Davis is already down there, and he told me to make sure I do my running before I come down. He said he's real tired from all the running here (smile)."

Decommitments have both aided and hurt virtually all the teams in the Pac-10. With a thin wide receiver group and a couple of wide receiver decommitments suffered by ASU, the Sun Devils are fortunate to enjoy the services of a fine receiver such as Derek Hagan. If he continues his fine play from high school, than the risk he took by leaving the gambling capital of the world, should turn into a safe bet.


Terry Hagan

High School

Palmdale HS, Palmdale, CA


WR (Played CB too)





Date of Birth



Northridge, CA


Haggen Dans (just like the ice cream)

Favorite TV Show

The Steve Harvey Show

Favorite Movie

Blue Streak

Favorite Singer

Snoop Dog

Favorite Food


Favorite Drink

Mountain Dew Code Red

Favorite Athlete

Keyshawn Johnson

Favorite Pro Team

Oakland Raiders

Person you most admire

My dad. He thought me how to play the game, and signed me up for Football when I was little.

First Football Memory

I was like 7 or 8. My very first time running the ball, I got real lit up. But I was only out for a couple of plays. (smile)

One Thing most people don't know about me

I can't think of anything specific. What you see is what you get.

Why did you choose ASU?

I like the area that ASU is in, and I like the campus.

Where do you want to be in ten years?

Playing in the NFL. If that doesn't work out, I want to start my own business. I plan to major in architecture or business management.

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