The Wolverine

November 2011

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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been a great mentor off the field, too. Along with Coach Hoke, he worked really hard to understand my specific form. When I���m on the field, they see what I���m doing wrong when I���m not punting great. ���It���s nice to see they���re committed. A lot of coaches around the country, I���m sure, kind of push punting aside, but they take it on as a challenge. They care a lot about having the best punt team in the Big Ten.��� A month before opening weekend, Hagerup had a choice. It was about more than technique or form or tweaking his drop. It was about growing up. At that moment, Hagerup decided to do whatever he could to help the team. He made it his mission to prepare true freshman kicker Matt Wile to take over the duties he would not be able to perform. ���I talked with Coach Hoke, and we agreed,��� Hagerup said. ���I did my best during practice, and during the games, to calm Wile down and communicate with him about the things he���s doing right or the things he might need a little work on. ���We had a great time during camp, punting together. He has an unbelievable leg, and he got a lot more consistent in the couple of weeks of camp. ���When he committed here, I���m sure he didn���t imagine he would be punting in the first game. The fact that he stepped in and did a great job, that shows how hard he worked. I know that as a freshman, I was so nervous and struggled a lot in the early games. He really stepped up, and he���ll continue to compete. That makes us a lot better.��� In his four game appearances in 2011, Hagerup has not had stellar numbers. He was averaging 34.8 yards per punt ����� nearly nine yards below his freshman-year statistics ��� with a long of 49. But he���s showing more touch and accuracy. In a blustery wind in East Lansing, Hagerup used the sideline to place a career-high four punts inside the 20-yard line. ���Dealing with the wind, I think I got lucky with some of those punts, but that was much more of an aiming thing, instead of a pooch punt where you try to hit it as high as you can. I knew if I hit it high, it was going in the end zone. So I aimed out of bounds, and that���s something I���ll con- tinue to work on.��� With just four November games left in the regular season �����and his year just beginning in earnest �����Hagerup is not pleased with his performance thus far. ���I think I���ve clearly struggled in the first couple games I���ve been back,��� Hagerup said. ���I almost felt like I was back at the nerve-level of that first game my freshman year. After the first couple games my freshman year, I was really comfortable and got into that mindset I have when I���m punting in practice and not worried about screwing up. ���I���m going to get back there really soon. I have to continue to work in practice, and I���ll get that confidence back.��� ��� Hagerup missed the first four games this fall due to suspension, and in his first four game appearances of 2011 he averaged 34.8 yards per punt. photo by per kjeldsen November 2011��� ������ the wolverine��� 43

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