Hagerup Overwhelmed by Scholarship Interest

Whitefish Bay punter Will Hagerup, one of the best specialists in the country for 2010, was expecting to have to wait until the summer for the possibility of earning a scholarship off Wisconsin. He only had to wait until Saturday night, but his amazing week was still far from over.

MADISON – Standing along the sidelines during Wisconsin's third spring practice on Saturday, one did not have to ask Whitefish Bay punter Will Hagerup to gauge what his interest is in the University of Wisconsin.

Joined at practice by his parents, Hagerup was proudly displaying a Wisconsin hooded sweatshirt while tossing and lightly kicking a Badger football as he intently watched practiced.

By this time next season, Hagerup could be wearing a Wisconsin jersey instead of a sweatshirt, as Hagerup, considered on the top specialists in the Midwest, picked up another scholarship offer, this time from Wisconsin.

"(Coach Bielema) told me that he was going to be completely honest with me and that I was the guy he wanted and that he was going to do whatever it took to get me here and that he had a scholarship for me," Hagerup said. "At that point, I was just in a extremely good mood the rest of the day. That was a big moment for me. We've developed a pretty good relationship in the past few months."

Both of his parents attended Wisconsin, along with his sister and hid grandparents, making his ties with Wisconsin close and giving himself a goal of getting interest from the Badgers.

Although one would assume he would commit on the spot, the plot thickened Monday night.

Not thinking his week could get any better, Hagerup got a call and a scholarship offer from Indiana, where his brother Chris is entering his second season as a punter.

"Everytime I go down there, I hang out with my brother and it's a great time," Hagerup said. "I really think the team is headed in the right direction. That's certainly not a school I am going to be ruling out anytime soon, especially because my brother goes there. He is one of my mentors and has taught me a lot about punting.

"I could certainly go there and have someone to look up to the entire time," he added. "At the same time, it would be fun to go against him. We get real competitive when we are punting against one another."

The Hoosier offer gives Will his seventh scholarship offer and fifth in the past week, getting SEC offers from Arkansas, Florida and Tennessee earlier in the week.

"It's pretty overwhelming actually," said Hagerup, who has also been offered by Iowa State and Purdue. "I am in shock over all of this. I have worked hard and done what different coaches have told me to do, but I did not expect any of this."

Hagerup at is the second in-state athlete Wisconsin has offered in the 2010 class, joining D.C. Everest linebacker (and Minnesota verbal commit) Konrad Zagzebski, who received an offer in March during Wisconsin's junior day.

Hagerup attended Wisconsin's Junior Day and after meeting with UW coach Bret Bielema, was orginially told by the fourth-year head coach that the Badgers had 15 scholarships at their disposal that, "if I came to the camp in June, he would tell me what the deal was."

With four scholarships opening up with departures from the program and potentially more, as Bielema eluded to, in the coming weeks, the Badgers decided that adding another solid in-state punter was too much to pass up.

So when Bielema asked him if they could talk after practice, a scholarship was the furthest thing from Hagerup's mind.

"He asked if he could meet with my parents after practice, which was a good feeling, but I was thinking what he told me last time about wanting me to come this summer," Hagerup said. "I truly was not thinking remotely close to an offer.

"Coming to practice was a last minute thing," he added. "In hindsight, I am glad I decided to go. I am really impressed with the talent there. That was the first practice I had ever seen and you don't really get a sense of how hard they work until you are up close. It was very impressive."

Hagerup is planning on starting the campus tours he's been offered from during his spring break and attend different camps, including Wisconsin's.

"I am going to start narrowing done but at the same time, I am not in any rush to make a decision," he said. "Right now, I am enjoying the process A LOT and I don't feel the need to rush it, especially an important decision as this one.

"As soon as it feels right though, there's no point in waiting. If I am still unsure, I am not going to pressure myself."

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