The Wolverine

March 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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MARCH 2018 THE WOLVERINE 47 school career and noticed during the U-M signee's senior year that he had complimented his physicality with other invaluable traits. "We're in the same conference, so I've become quite familiar with him," Klein noted. "As a senior, he made exponential growth as a player, and that's what led to Eureka having the kind of season they did. "What made him really special this past year, though, was that he im- proved his overall explosiveness and ability to run away from people. He always had the power, but the fact that he got a bit faster as a senior is what separated him from the other running backs we faced." Klein admitted that Haskins was the focal point of Marquette's game plan heading into the Sept. 8 con- test, but that it didn't seem to matter. Haskins finished with three touch- down runs and totaled 245 yards on 21 carries. "When you face a kid of his cali- ber, they require so much attention," Klein said. "We tried to stop him any way we could, but he still went on to have a great game against us. Any time he was on the field, you simply had to know where he was lining up." While the added speed was the biggest improvement Klein saw in Haskins' career, another opposing coach — Neil Nowack of O'Fallon (Mo.) Fort Zumwalt West, whose Jag- uars crew fell to Eureka 45-26 Aug. 18 — noted a different area of im- provement in his game. "What surprised me the most about him was how well he caught the ball out of the backfield as a se- nior," Nowack explained. "That's an element we hadn't seen before. His vision and balance got better as well — you could make first contact on him, but he always kept his balance and got five or six extra yards." Sumner revealed that Haskins' power, physicality, and 6-1, 207-pound frame is actually what kept a few col- leges away from him. "Some people were holding off be- cause he ran a 4.65 40-yard dash," the Eureka head coach recalled. "He had offers from Memphis and Wyoming, and Iowa was looking at him a bit, but that was about it. That's right around the time when Michigan did their homework and got involved. "It was nothing but class while dealing with the Michigan coaches — I've been so impressed with their coaching staff. They came down here to see him, and you could tell they re- ally did their homework. As soon as Hassan committed, they continued to communicate with both him and myself. They were also very involved with his academics, and I was just so impressed with everything they did. "I think he'll have a fantastic career there. As soon as he gets on a diet plan and they get him going on a seasoned program, he'll really take off." ❏ DID YOU KNOW? • Born Nov. 26, 1999. • His older brother, safety Maurice Alexander, graduated from Eureka in 2009 and went on to be drafted by the then- hometown St. Louis Rams in 2014 out of Utah State in the fourth round. Alexander was with the team four years and started 23 games before being released this past season. • As a senior, Haskins eclipsed 100 rushing yards in 12 of 13 games and added 165 receiving yards and two touchdown catches. Defensively, he racked up 25 tackles with nine sacks and two fumble recoveries, including one he returned 50 yards for a touchdown. • Totaled 36 receptions for 294 yards and two scores as a junior, plus 34 tackles and 12 sacks on defense. • At Nike's The Opening regional in Cleveland on April 9, 2017, he ran a 4.74 40-yard dash and a 4.41 20-yard shuttle. He also recorded a 35.8-inch verti- cal jump and a Nike+ Football Rating of 94.44. THEY SAID IT • U-M head coach Jim Harbaugh: "When you watch the tape on Hassan, he's just so pro- ductive playing the game of football. When comparing himself to a lot of high school backs around the country, he acquits himself ver y well. We're very excited about him." • Eureka head coach Jake Sumner: "He's an enjoyable kid — not even per formance -wise, but on charac ter. As a coach, he's what you want all your players to be like, because he has a nonstop work ethic and is always trying to improve." • Chesterfield (Mo.) Marquette head coach Matt Klein: "When he was on the field, you simply had to know where that kid was at. If it doesn't work out for him at a certain po- sition in college, he's the kind of player who could have the opportunity to succeed at a different spot — that's one of the things that makes him so valuable." Rivals rates Haskins as the No. 12 pros- pect in Missouri and the No. 40 running back in the country. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM MARCH 2018 THE WOLVERINE 47

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