Why Hagan Became A Buckeye

When Ohio State landed a verbal commitment from Chad Hagan, it landed an unranked prospect from Pennsylvania who did not have an offer from Penn State. In this update, Hagan discusses the reasoning behind both situations as well as his thoughts on the Buckeyes.

It was in the nerve center of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center that Ohio State picked up its most recent verbal commitment.

Seated with two friends, his head coach and OSU head coach Jim Tressel, Chad Hagan was listening to a speech given by the head coach of the Buckeyes.

"(Tressel) was showing me his national championship rings and his Big Ten rings and he was like, ‘I need your help on this. I might need your help to get me some more,' " Hagan told BuckeyeSports.com. "I was like, ‘Well, you're going to get it.' Then I committed.

"He was like, ‘Really? Where are you committing?' I was like, ‘Here,' and he was like, ‘Oh my, yes.' "

With that, a recruiting class that has been pegged as capping at 17 players moved one commitment closer to being at full capacity. Listed at 6-0, 207 pounds, Hagan is beginning his senior season at Canonsburg (Pa.) Canon-McMillan. A multi-talented athlete, he has lined up at safety, running back, wide receiver and kick returner during his prep career.

The Buckeyes have targeted him as a safety, and that projection helped Hagan pick them.

"I've talked to (safeties coach) Paul Haynes a couple times and he told me the year I come in they're losing three safeties, so basically I'll be battling two people to play," Hagan said. "The way I am, I'm not going to let anybody beat me out so I think I'll have a chance to play as a true freshman."

Asked what he likes about OSU, Hagan said, "Basically everything from their football tradition to their academics and how great of a football town and a college sports town it really is."

Although Scout.com lists him as an unranked running back prospect, Hagan said he feels he understands that decision. After suffering a stress fracture in his left tibia, Hagan underwent surgery during the spring and spent a night in the hospital in the process.

The injury was suffered sometime before his junior season began, Hagan said, but he still played through the pain. It was not until basketball season that the injury was discovered.

As a result, Hagan's appearance at a Scout combine was an abbreviated one.

"I couldn't really do anything because I had a broken leg and my coach only wanted me to do 40s and a vertical jump but nothing after that because my leg could snap at any time," he said. "He told me not to do much. That's why I got one star, and I can understand that."

While in Columbus, Hagan was accompanied by teammate Mike Hull, a verbal commitment to Penn State. The Nittany Lions did not offer Hagan a scholarship, and Hagan said he would remain committed to OSU should the Nittany Lions start recruiting him.

"They recruited me," he said. "They didn't offer or anything like that. I don't know what it was. I don't know if it was grades or something like that, but they didn't want to offer me."

Hagan said he hold a 3.0 grade-point average and a score of 1190 on the SAT.

He will make a visit to Happy Valley this fall, however.

"I'm going to go up to Penn State once with Mike, but that's just for the Penn State-Ohio State game," he said.

Other than that, he said he plans to take an official visit to OSU at some point as well. He picked the Buckeyes over Wisconsin and Michigan, the two schools who rounded out his top three.

While in Columbus, Hagan crossed paths with four-star cornerback prospect Joshua Shaw, who was also there for an unofficial visit.

"We were trying to get him to commit then," Hagan said. "He was in there with Coach Taver (Johnson)."

With his decision now out of the way, Hagan said he is looking forward to his senior season.

"It was awesome," he said. "I had it on my mind for a while and wanted to get it out of the way so I could focus on my senior season. I'm pretty solid on Ohio State. I've got a good opportunity to go there and play. I've just got a good opportunity to do things there."


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