Special teams are often one of the more overlooked parts of a football team -- unless they are amazingly terrible or amazingly good. Fortunately for the Wolverines they've benefitted from having the latter when it comes to the punt game.
Senior Zoltan Mesko has been one of the elite punters in the country during his career, and has been a true weapon for the Maize & Blue. Replacing the former Army All American was has been one of Michigan's primary objectives on the recruiting trail this year. Headman Rich Rodriguez accomplished his goal today when he secured a verbal from yet another Army All American leg -- that of Whitefish Bay (WI) high's Will Hagerup.
"(Returning home to think things over) was my original plan, but I was (in Ann Arbor) and I was sure about it," said Hagerup. "I thought, ‘why wait and do it over the phone when I can shake coach's hand and do it in person.' Plus it's a good relief too."
The only part of the decision Hagerup is not relieved about is speaking with the coaches of the programs he turned down (i.e. Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Florida).
"I was hoping to try to get in touch with some of the other coaches before (announcing the commitment)," he said. "I tried calling them and they didn't answer. They're obviously busy. That will be the not fun part obviously. But I think I owe it to them to give them a call and thank them for recruiting me and all of that."
The obvious question from many of them will be ‘Why Michigan?' For Hagerup, a much tougher question he found himself pondering was why not?
"It was kind of exactly what I was looking for," he explained. "I felt really comfortable on the visit and it didn't seem like there was a lot of fake recruiting going on. I just felt really comfortable around the coaches and the players and it's a great campus and a great school. I'm excited to be a part of it."
The chance to step in and play right away was another prominent factor.
"That is definitely the expectation as of now," Hagerup said regarding being Mesko's replacement as a true freshman. "Those are obviously my intentions and I‘m going to work hard to reach that. That's what they've told me, but at the same time if it doesn't work out initially then I think a redshirt year could be beneficial as well. Right now that's my hope."
With his collegiate decision now out of the way, Hagerup's attention now shifts back to a high school career that he plans to close out on a high note.
"I averaged about 40 (yards per punt) last year and this year I think I'm doing a little bit better than that," he reported. "I'm 3/3 on field goals with a long of 49. I'm playing tight end too and I don't have statistics for that off the top of my head. (After the season) I'm playing in the Army Bowl in San Antonio and I'm really really excited about that. I can't wait."