Hagerup Blown Away By OSU Visit

Ohio State hosted a number of recruits on official visits during the past weekend, and punter Will Hagerup was among them. Find out what the Wisconsin native thought of the game-day experience in Columbus, what his parents thought and what the weekend means for the Buckeyes going forward.

While making the six-to-eight-hour drive home from Columbus, Will Hagerup and his parents will have plenty to discuss.

That is a good thing for Ohio State, one of four finalists for the three-star punter from Whitefish Bay, Wis. After taking an official visit to see the Buckeyes host USC on Sept. 12, the nation's No. 4 punter has two more official visits on tap before he makes a final decision.

But reflecting back on his time with the Buckeyes, Hagerup said the other three schools recruiting him will have some serious ground to make up in order to compete with OSU.

"I don't have a ranking right now I guess, but I can say that it was a very, very special visit and it's going to be a pretty hard place to beat," he told BuckeyeSports.com. "I'm excited for my other two visits but I think the visit went about as well as it could've gone."

The visit was Hagerup's second of four. Last week it was Wisconsin, and the coming weekends will see him take in Florida and Michigan in order with hopes of making a final decision shortly after his final visit.

While in Columbus, Hagerup – who was accompanied by his father Chris and mother Loni – toured the school's academic facilities, the on-campus residence halls and the team's facilities. A few experiences stood out in his mind among the rest.

"The Skull Session (before the USC game) was crazy and then the atmosphere at the field was something that you can't possibly put into words," he said. "Those two things. Obviously I'm not on the team but seeing what somebody on the team experiences every home game was pretty special."

Before heading home, Hagerup and his parents got to spend some one-on-one time with OSU head coach Jim Tressel.

"He's what you would think he is," Hagerup said of Tressel. "He's such a smart person and he really, really cares about the individual player. He wants to develop the player not just athletically but as a person too. I think he realizes that his product sells itself. He's more just open to whatever questions I would have. He's a lot of fun to talk to and a pretty impressive person."

The plan is for his parents to take his four official visits with him with one exception: his mother will not be making the Sept. 19 trip to Florida.

After each visit, Hagerup said he rehashes the experiences with his parents while traveling home. This week, all three members of the family talked about their feelings about the Buckeyes.

"They were just as blown away as I was," Hagerup said of his parents. "Their comment was that it's a very, very big stage and the team is very professional-like, as professional as a college team can get. They were pretty in love with the atmosphere too."

In addition, the 6-4, 210-pound punter said he jots down notes after each visit detailing his positive and negative experiences and plans to use those to help him make a final decision.

To Hagerup, the most important thing is to find a school where he is comfortable with more than just the product on the field.

"It's more just the general feeling you have and which school throughout this process that I'll fall in love with and that's not something that you can just take facts about," he said. "It's more about how you feel about them and they're all amazing places with so much to offer. I think it's just about finding where I'm most comfortable at."

As for the loss to the Trojans, Hagerup said it will not impact his decision in any way.

"Just seeing that atmosphere was enough for me to call it a great place," he said. "Obviously it was disappointing that they lost but the team played as hard as they could and the coaches did an awesome job. Seeing to me how the fans, it's not just third down where they're cheering loudly. Every single down the fans are in it and the team is in it. Obviously I wish they would've won but that's how college football is."

It all added up to an experience that Hagerup said left a big impression on him.

"It was amazing," he said. "It was really, really unbelievable. Obviously you hear about the hype that is Ohio State, but just to be in person and see everything, I'm still taking everything in. It exceeded every single expectation."

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