Hagerup discusses camp tour

Whitefish Bay (Wis.) High School athlete Christopher Hagerup bolstered his chances of receiving a scholarship as a quarterback after attending 10 summer camps. The class of 2007 prospect is also being recruited as a punter and kicker.

Christopher Hagerup concluded a hectic swing of football camps last week. The 6-foot-4, 197-pound athlete's journey began with a trip to Sherman Oaks, Calif., for a Chris Sailer kicking and punting camp. Then came a trek to 10 colleges for one-day football camps.

The day after he returned from California, Hagerup said, "my dad said we're going to Northwestern and all these other colleges. I have barely been home."

"I started off at Northwestern, then Northern Illinois, then Iowa State, then Vanderbilt, Indiana, Purdue, Illinois, Wisconsin," Hagerup said in a telephone interview last week. His trip concluded with camps at Western Michigan and Central Michigan.

Like most college football prospects, Hagerup's camp tour was primarily for the purpose of gaining exposure with college coaches. Hagerup, though, is uniquely situated in that he is considered a college prospect as a punter, kicker and quarterback. He went into his 10 camps assuming that schools would be more interested in him as a kicker/punter, but came away feeling he has a legitimate chance to earn a scholarship as a quarterback.

"They all surprisingly seemed very interested in particular in quarterbacking," Hagerup said. "They all thought that I had probably—at each of the camps—had probably the best arm there, which is good to know, because originally I think going into just this month in general, I was kind of going to be a kicker. But now after the camps I think I'm going to really start focusing on quarterbacking because Indiana, Purdue, Illinois, Wisconsin and actually Vanderbilt all seemed very interested in me in quarterbacking…

"Indiana, for instance, I think they put four offers out about a month ago to quarterbacks with 20-25 offers. And so if Indiana is not in their top five then they said that I'm next on their list.

"And Coach Canada (Indiana quarterbacks coach Matt Canada) said that if he had an offer that day he would offer me. He thought I really surprised him."

Hagerup received a similar message from Wisconsin. Effectively, he is being asked to be patient while the top-ranked quarterbacks pick their dance partners.

"Wisconsin, well, their quote was, that they are probably going to scholarship one or two quarterbacks, and this is what (quarterbacks coach Paul Chryst) said… He stated that I have a really good chance of getting one of those spots…

"It is kind of the unfortunate thing is that I didn't really get as much interest as I'm getting now until right now. So those other quarterbacks got earlier offers. So I'm kind of waiting. I'm sure I'll find a spot somewhere but we're just going to wait to see what that spot is going to be."

Somewhat surprisingly, Hagerup was not asked to kick or punt at most of the camps he attended, likely because his credentials are better established in that regard. He is the No. 11 punting prospect in the nation, according to Chris Sailer. (See Chris Sailer class of 2007 kicking and punting ratings). Meanwhile, Hagerup is entering only his second season as a quarterback in organized football. He is an impressive athlete, with the ability to cover 40 yards in 4.6 seconds. And he rarely threw the football last season in Whitefish Bay's wing-T offense.

"I think the kicking and punting is kind of a given," Hagerup said. "… If a school is going to scholarship a kicker and punter and they have an opening then I think I have a pretty good chance at getting that. I only kicked at two of these places…

"For instance, Illinois, Coach Okruch (Illini defensive coordinator Vince Okruch), he knows that I can kick, but he didn't even have me kick that day because I don't think they are going to be even scholarshiping a kicker next year.

"For kicking it just really depends what the school's openings are and availability for that."

Hagerup could conceivably punt or kick while also playing quarterback in college, but that did not come up often in his summer-camp conversations with coaches.

"Really the only ones who have talked about that is Indiana," Hagerup said, "Coach Canada kind of gave the comment — I think that day I probably punted one of the best days I did this summer — and he kind of gave the comment as I was walking away with him… ‘We may need to scholarship you for all three positions: kicker, punter and quarterback.'"

The Sailer camp Hagerup attended last month was intended for college kickers and punters only (Wisconsin kicker Taylor Mehlhaff was among the attendees), but Hagerup was invited to it after a knee injury, suffered during a 7-on-7 game, forced him to miss a high school camp in May. He said the knee is back to normal and has not given him any problems this summer, though his flexibility was restricted at the Sailer camp.

"I was kind of mainly focusing on punting," Hagerup said of the Sailer camp. "Coach Sailer kind of really likes my punting a lot more than my kicking. Not that he thinks I'm a bad kicker, but he thinks that I have a way better chance with my size to do well and succeed in punting, and maybe even go past the college level."

"I'm always going to say I think I can do a little better," Hagerup said of his Sailer camp performance. "I thought I did OK but it was a good start for the season and I think Chris Sailer knows I can do a little better than I did…. I had just rehabbed my knee from when I sprained my meniscus and I was just getting back into it and my flexibility still wasn't full. But I think overall I punted real well, and my kicking could have been a little better. But I would say it was an above-average weekend. I did well I think."

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