Sam Webb: What we hear and Greg Harden can speak to this. What we hear in part is a lesson in humility, is that right? Isn’t this in part a lesson in humility just a bit?
Greg Harden: “I think that’s an excellent point. Will Will be honest with you? His arrogance was unbelievable.”
Sam Webb: I had a personal experience with Will Hagerup’s arrogance.
Will Hagerup: “This morning or…”
Sam Webb: Not quite this morning, but I want to take you back to last spring. I’ll take you back to last spring and I remember distinctly walking onto the football field and look we are not these imposing figures, Ira and I. We’re not these imposing figures.
Will Hagerup: “That’s why you’re on radio.”
Sam Webb: (Laughter) I know this coming in, we’re not these imposing figures. We had this agreement set up where we were going to play this match, this duel until the end on the softball field. We were slated to play against the coach’s wives, little did we know that these coaches wives had decided to get some fill ins and these fill ins were Michigan football players. Who looked at these unimposing figures and just assumed that we’re going to crush these guys. Will Hagerup was among them, among these individuals that judged a book by its cover. Said that we are going to mop the floor with these guys.
We were not intimated, we were not deterred because we knew.
Will Hagerup: “How inspiring, wow.”
Sam Webb: We knew from the looks, the collective look and multiple looks in their eyes that they were…
Greg Harden: “…overestimating their ability to crush you...”
Sam Webb: …yes they were and so they went up to bat and they did some things. Did you ever swing the bat?
Will Hagerup: “I want to clear some things up.”
Sam Webb: Hold on! Hold up! Pump the brake, did you swing the bat?
Will Hagerup: “For the listeners…”
Sam Webb: …you can’t even answer if you swung the bat?
Will Hagerup: “This is T-ball we’re talking about. It was softball on top of a rubber cylinder. This is not softball.”
Sam Webb: It is still a competition.
Will Hagerup: “They were cheating.”
Sam Webb: Did you swing the bat?
Will Hagerup: “How many months ago was this?
Sam Webb: So we can assume he swung the bat and it didn’t go well. Can we assume that?
Greg Harden: “The look on his face says it all.
Sam Webb: I asked the right question there. I did not get the honest answer and so it is one of those things where we come up to bat and all I know is every single one of us, we hit homeruns.
Greg Harden: “Speaking of humility Sam (laughter).”
Sam Webb: Every single one of us hit a homerun and it was so bad at the end …they just called the game and said it was over. I would like to think that that day, I…we contributed to your process. I would like think that that’s true.
Will Hagerup: “Did you get my thank you letter?”
Sam Webb: Based on that I take pride when I look across…
Will Hagerup: “…this morning that I’m not even talking about (laughter). I can’t even remember that far.”
Sam Webb: It was a lot of fun but that’s one of the things that show how close you and your teammates.
Will Hagerup: “Congratulations you guys did win.”
Sam Webb: It was great to see you out there that day seriously because you were in the process of getting back on the team. You were back this year, but that’s when you’re getting back. It was really good say, “hey they’ve got Will out here doing teams things.” That’s really when it seemed to start to come back together. Let’s pick up where we left off and you have Greg on your team. He is on Team Hagerup. But you’ve got to get Brady Hoke and Dave Brandon on Team Hagerup too. What were those meetings like and what did they entail?
Will Hagerup: “First of all, Coach Hoke was immediately receptive to whatever happens with you, wherever you are, wherever you go, I’m here for you. I’m not your football coach, it’s bigger than that. Our first meetings, we didn’t talk about football. Eventually he said, if you’re looking to transfer you let me know where you want to go and we’ll figure this out. That’s really when I went home for break and sort of pondered where might I like to go and as I’m thinking, I said I want to be at Michigan. That’s where I started, I want to finish there, it’s home to me in some ways and that’s when I came back and said, coach, I don’t want to consider other schools. It doesn’t feel right and I want to do everything I can to be here. He said, there’s a lot of uncertainty with that right now and you understand the rules, the consequences and let’s just work on making small steps and small victories. He said, I want you to come in here every week and see me and let me know how you’re doing and we don’t have to talk about this. We don’t have to talk about football. We can talk about whatever you want.”
“Dave Brandon on the other hand was tougher to reach. He was available as far as…this is a guy who in some ways was the face of Michigan’s athletics and he stuck his neck out for me. It was tough I think at first. There was a breach of trust clearly. I think after the first few meetings he became more receptive considering me for a third or fourth time and man…if he’s not onboard then none of this happens. He took I think some of the advice of Greg Harden and Coach Hoke and I think it took those two to really gain his trust. Me and Mr. Brandon are in contact and we have a great relationship and I think he recognizes that there was a time when I wasn’t ready to believe in you again, but you’ve proven to me that you are serious about this and you did deserve a new opportunity.”
Sam Webb: Outstanding stuff. You had a number of people in your corner, but you earned that trust back.
Greg Harden: “He earned it, he worked for it, he did everything to convince himself that a man can transform himself, a man can change. That’s what this is really all about. One thing that is unique about human beings, a dog is going to be a dog, a cat is going to be a cat, a cow is going to be a cow…human beings are the only creature that are capable of transforming themselves, deciding that they’re not going to be the same as they were yesterday. Will demonstrated and proved that point. That if a man or woman or anybody decides to be something better than they were before, they can upgrade, they can shift. Will is someone that I will talk on from this point on, in lectures and in other environments about how you can see a person shift and change and commit to being something better than they were the day before.”