April 23, 2009

Hagan enjoyed visit, closer to offer

Canonsburg (Pa.) Canon McMillan junior safety Chad Hagan felt he was fairly close to an offer from Ohio State about a month ago. Now, the safety looks to be even closer.

Hagan, a 6-foot-2, 210-pounds junior defensive back who has also seen some time at running back, was in Columbus last weekend to take in Ohio State's kick scrimmage and visit with the coaching staff.

"It went really well, actually," said Hagan, who posted 61 tackles on defense in addition to 720 rushing yards on offense last season. "I got to see all the academic stuff and I got to see The Oval and all the different stuff like that. It was all just really nice.

The visit to Ohio State was Hagan's second trip to Columbus, but the safety got a better look at the campus and was excited to see the Buckeyes out in action.

"It was my first time getting a tour of the whole campus and it was really nice," Hagan said. "(Watching the players in the scrimmage) was really intense. Everybody seemed like they were going at it. Everybody was working hard to try and get a job. Ohio State isn't a school where you are going to go there and you are going to get the job. If you work, then you get the job, and I like that a lot."

While in Columbus Hagan got another opportunity to visit with Buckeyes' co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell, who has kept in rather steady contact with the defensive back.

Conversation of an offer was addressed.

"I have talked to him a few times and then I talked to him after the practice," Hagan said. "I am taking my tests (SATs) in a few weeks and after I get those back he said they were going to offer.

"Its really nerve racking at points, but its exciting because they are in my top three and they are one of my favorite schools," Hagan added. "I just really can't wait to get the offer in and get this process going."

Ohio State's situation at safety following this year could be rather thing, and Hagan has been told that he could have a chance to possibly earn some early playing time if

"That's definitely a big thing for me," Hagan said. "The first time I went up there they told me they are losing three or four safeties they year I come in and that they start two safeties at a time, or even three, and they said I had a chance to start as soon as I cam as long as I showed them I know what I am doing. That plays a big part in everything that goes on."

Though Illinois is Hagan's only offer thus far in the process, the safety has had a rather steady top three that consists of Ohio State, Pittsburgh, and Penn State.

While those three schools have all been in Hagan's top three for quite some time, an offer from Ohio State could change things.

"If I were to get an offer from (Ohio State) right now with the lists of schools I have, they would definitely be my No. 1," Hagan said. "They have been trying to recruit me the most and they enjoyed my highlight films. They want me to be with them, and that's important to me."

When at the kick scrimmage, Hagan got the opportunity to speak with Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel, which is also something the safety enjoyed during his time in Columbus.

"It was really cool. I got to speak with him last time, but it was cool," Hagan said. "He said he likes the way I play and that I am a good football player and that he would love for me to be a Buckeye."

Ari Wasserman is a staff writer for BuckeyeGrove.com. He can be reached at [email protected].

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