Hagans focused on six

Franklin (Wis.) star wide receiver has two scholarship offers, discusses favorites

Keven Hagans, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound wide receiver prospect at Franklin (Wis.) High School, received his second scholarship offer Friday when the University of Illinois took a seat at the table. Houston presented Hagans with his first offer more than a month ago.

Those two schools, along with Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan and Michigan State, make up Hagans' current list of favorites.

"What I like about Madison is that it's right around the corner pretty much, it's so close to home," Hagans said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "And talking to Coach (Brian) Murphy, who's the (in-state) recruiting coach at Wisconsin, we got pretty close. And I like their academic program from the junior day tour and their equipment. They seem like a put together school.

"Illinois, I like the fact that they throw the ball a lot. And (Franklin) Coach (Jesse) Miller has one of his friends is a coach there and he was telling me that they're really up on me and playing time as a freshman.

"Houston, I think the only problem with Houston is it's so far away. Other than that I think it's a perfect fit because they throw the ball almost every down. And they're losing seniors so there's a possibility that I'll start as a freshman.

"Iowa, I went down to their junior day and they; when they play Wisconsin they show a lot that they can play with the big teams. And they throw it kind of a lot… They are more organized in passing than Madison is.

"Michigan, I think it's just cause… its a Big Ten school…

"Michigan State, in talking to their coach, they are talking about throwing it just as much as we do in high school and that's like 50 times a game. You've got to love that."

Hagans made his mark the last two years in Franklin's wide open passing game. As a sophomore in 2003 he had 45 catches for 584 yards and six touchdowns, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Last season he had 39 receptions for 1,049 yards and 12 touchdowns and was named second-team all-state.

Hagans, who said he runs a 4.5 40-yard dash, benefited from Franklin's offense and the stellar play of quarterback Ben Hempel, who threw for 9,370 yards and 92 touchdowns over the past three seasons. Hempel will attend Division II Northern Michigan this fall.

"It's been great, especially working with Ben Hempel," Hagans said. "It got me to talking to you right now otherwise we probably wouldn't be having this conversation."

Three quarterbacks are vying to replace Hempel. Hagans has been working extensively with one of them, junior-to-be Rob Evans, this summer in an effort to get their timing down. The Franklin team is competing in three passing leagues this summer and is also attending camps at Brookfield Central High School and at Franklin.

Partly for that reason, Hagans will not participate in any football camps administered by colleges this summer.

Said Hagans: "We really don't want to get colleges to be disinterested and think that I'm making up my mind" by choosing one camp over another. "And he (Franklin coach Jesse Miller) doesn't want me to be camped out because we have a lot of stuff coming up."

Unlike some prospects, Hagans does not need to wow colleges with camp performances. What will truly help his cause is if the ACT exam he re-took this past Saturday comes back with a qualifying score. Hagans said he did not know his up-to-date grade-point average, but he scored a 17 the first time he took the ACT.

All four of his favorites who have not offered him a scholarship have told him one could be on its way if he gets his academics in order.

"Madison, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa… They are just waiting to see what happens," Hagans said.

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