Hagerup Pledges to Indiana

Whitefish Bay (Wis.) H.S. standout Chris Hagerup talks about his decision to commit to the Hoosiers following his official visit, and also the opportunity he'll have to be a punter as well as a quarterback in Bloomington...

It's going to be a busy couple of weeks for IU's most recent verbal commit, Chris Hagerup.

The 6-4, 197-pound punter/quarterback, who verballed to IU today after completing his official visit this weekend, plans to enroll in January, meaning the Milwaukee, Wis., native has plenty to get done before he arrives in Bloomington for the start of second semester Jan. 8.

"It's a relief to have the decision made, but I have to cram six weeks of school into these next three weeks," said Hagerup.

Whitefish Bay H.S. goes on its holiday break Dec. 22, but still has three weeks of first semester classes after the students return after the holidays. But Hagerup will be getting all of his coursework complete so he can be an early enroll at IU.

The decision to enroll early was an easy one for Hagerup, especially considering the Hoosiers' plans for him. While he's expected to get plenty of work at quarterback once he arrives in town, he very well could the opening day punter when the 2007 season kicks off next fall.

"Coach (Terry) Hoeppner's quote was that if it's fourth down in that first game, we want you to be the guy who will going out to punt," Hagerup said. "So they are already talking about me punting in that first game.

"So getting down there early will give me a good start to the program. They want me to start that first game, and it would be kind of difficult going in as a new college student in late summer, and then you have one month, and then it's game time. I'll feel a lot more comfortable (having enrolled early)."

Hagerup already said he feels comfortable with the IU coaching staff, which was a big part of his decision to pledge to the Hoosiers. A summer camp attendee at IU, this weekend's trip to Bloomington only reinforced his feelings about the staff and the program in general.

"The visit went really well," Hagerup said. "I was expecting a lot, and it went above and beyond what I would have expected.

"I already felt really comfortable with the coaches and the experience I already had there, and the official visit just sealed the deal. The program is going in the right direction, and everything they had to offer was great."

One thing Hagerup said IU has to offer is the opportunity to also play quarterback. His 45-yard punting average and first-team All-State accolades as a punter could land him on the field immediately next fall on special teams, but he'll also have the chance to show the IU staff what he can do under center.

"Coach Hoeppner told me I'm not just a punter, I'm a football player," Hagerup said. "He wouldn't want to scholarship just a punter, but he looks at me as a football player who can also play quarterback. It think that's a big reason why I got this offer. I went down there in the summer and I threw the ball really well and Coach (Matt) Canada was impressed, and I punted really well also."

Hagerup also said the quarterback position won't be quite as congested next fall, either. Graeme McFarland graduated this fall, and Hagerup said this year's back-up, Blake Powers, will be moving to tight end for 2007. That would leave only Kellen Lewis and Ben Chappell as scholarship returnees at the position, and they'll be joined by Teddy Schell and Hagerup.

Hagerup threw for 1,100 yards as a senior, helping Whitefish Bay to a 5-4 record.

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