Positives…Well-built athlete with a very good upper body frame…Has broad shoulders, a tight chest and solid, lean muscle mass throughout…Shows good balance and body control when making a play on the ball…Sees the field well, making proper reads while reacting quickly…Stays low in his backpedal and shows an adequate feel for the short pass routes…Has the stride needed to cover ground quickly vs. plays in front of him.
Displays proper hand technique to snatch the ball, using his upper body strength to fight for the pigskin in traffic…Maintains eye contact on the passer and breaks on the ball with little hesitation working the short area.
Negatives…His plant-&-drive agility is adequate…Needs to do a better job of shadowing the receiver in the short area…Takes some bad angles when trying to make tackles in backside pursuit…Lacks the sustained speed to cover receivers in the deep zone…Will take poor angles in pursuit when working in the box…Lacks the leg drive to defeat blocks at the line and gets bounced around too much when attempting to fill the rush lanes… Looks a little stiff in his lower frame, not opening his hips properly to plant and drive out of his transition.
Emerging talent who came into his own as a senior, his first season as a full-time starter… Recorded 154 tackles (104 solos) with a 7-yard sack, five stops for losses of 14 yards, five interceptions for 90 yards in returns, 14 pass deflections, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and a blocked kick during his time with the Hawkeyes.
Manned the free safety position, finishing third on the team with a career-high 90 tackles (63 solos), including a stop for a 3-yard loss…Led the squad with four interceptions for 89 yards in returns and a touchdown…Deflected seven passes and blocked a kick…Caused and recovered a fumble.
Akron…Opened the season with a 6-tackle (5 solos) performance.
Miami (Oh.)…Intercepted a pass and deflected 2 others.
Iowa State…Batted away 3 Seneca Wallace passes inside the red zone and delivered a season-high 11 tackles (7 solos).
Penn State…Picked off a pass, returning it 3 yards to set up a score, deflected another pass on a third-down play and posted 7 tackles (4 solos).
Purdue…Followed with 9 tackles (5 solos).
Michigan State…Was in on 7 hits (4 solos), deflected a pass and returned an interception 62 yards for a touchdown…His 62-yarder was the seventh-longest interception runback in school history and the longest since Matt Bowen's 70-yarder vs. Indiana in 1997.
Indiana…Credited with 5 tackles and a pair of pass break-ups.
Wisconsin…Made 8 tackles (6 solos), returned an interception 24 yards and deflected a pass.
Northwestern…Was in on 7 tackles (5 solos).
Minnesota…Delivered 6 tackles and recovered a fumble to set up a touchdown drive in the season finale.
Southern California (Orange Bowl)…Closed out his career with 10 tackles (6 solos) and a pass deflection.
The skinny on Derek Pagel
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