Large and in charge, defensive lineman Cordian Hagans from Northview High is gaining a reputation as a top defensive tackle prospect and he says it's kind of hard to believe considering he's only played football for one year. Thanks to some very good advice from someone close to him, he'll have plenty of football in his future.
"Actually this was my first year playing football," Hagans tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I played some in the seventh grade, but I played basketball. Justin Tuggle's dad (former Atlanta Falcon Jesse Tuggle) wanted me to play football. I decided to try it and I actually loved it better than basketball. If anybody got advice from a person like Jesse Tuggle they would do what he said."
A basketball player by nature, Hagans says that it wasn't the hitting or physical aspect of football that was the toughest part for him. In the end it was simply trying to get used to the heat.
"The thing I had to get used to was being outside," Hagans says. "In basketball you are pampered with air conditioning and when I started playing football we were outside in 100 degree weather. I had to get used to that. Other than that I think I had an advantage because basketball players usually have good coordination and quick feet so that really helped me on the football field."
Once he got in football shape, things began to click for the massive Hagans. Playing last season at around 265 pounds, he says that while he's still got a lot of learning to do his speed and quickness up front was good enough for schools to tell he had a good future as a football player. Couple that with a body that is getting bigger and you have the makings of a very interesting prospect.
"The thing that I think got me that much attention was my strength, my explosiveness, and my speed," Hagans says. "People really looked at my speed. Right now I'm up to 6-6, 285 and I recently ran a 4.9 (40-yard dash). That's pretty good because I have grown a lot and I'm probably still growing."
Being recruited as a defensive tackle, Hagans says that he's currently hearing from schools all over the region. Not familiar with the recruiting process until experiencing it, he says that he has been surprised at the attention he's given by coaches from several different schools.
"It's pretty hectic," Hagans says. "I have a lot of coaches texting me and I keep in touch with a lot of schools. I get surprised every time I get another text message from a new school."
Currently Hagans says he's up to six offers with several other schools close to pulling the trigger and extending an offer. Of those he says he doesn't have a true favorite but one has caught his eye and is strongly in contention. "They are Auburn, North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana, Mississippi State and LSU. I'm also hearing from Clemson and Florida with Georgia and Georgia Tech also showing a lot of interest.
"I have been to Auburn and I like them a lot," he adds. "I came to visit them maybe two or three weeks ago and I really liked it a lot. I liked the facilities they have. I like the fact that they have a building just for football where everything was there, academics and athletics. I really liked the fact that everything was in one building."
Hagans says he is planning to camp at several of his favorites over the summer and he'll also be attending the Scout.com Combine in Atlanta next month.