Bruce Feldman recently put out his annual “Freaks List” on CBSSports.com, which highlights the top athletes in college football. Previous lists have featured players such as Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson. At No. 2 on the list this year is Gophers defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman.
The article noted that Hageman, a former tight end who will be a redshirt senior next year, played AAU basketball against Royce White and can still perform a 360-degree dunk at 6-6, 312 pounds.
Feldman also wrote: “He’s certainly the most athletic [defensive lineman in the Big Ten]. Not only does he have the 36-inch [vertical jump], but he also has bench-pressed 465 pounds and clocked an electronically timed 10-yard sprint in 1.57 seconds. For comparison sake, no DT at this year’s NFL combine jumped higher than 33 inches, and Terron Armstead, the offensive tackle who ran the blazing 4.71 40 at the combine, did a 1.64 in his 10.”
Hageman’s athleticism already has been noted in mock drafts for next year’s NFL draft. At RotoWorld they wrote about the top senior prospects for next year and had Hageman at No. 14 overall, writing, “Hageman has a lot of upside that could turn into production this season.”
Give Hageman some credit. The former Minneapolis Washburn star had some personal problems and he almost was kicked off the football squad over a year ago. But he not only got his act together, but he has become a great leader and is doing well academically.
Hitting during streak
During the Twins’ eight-game losing streak, Justin Morneau, Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit hit a combined .301, going 25-for-83 at the plate, but collectively had only five extra-base hits and seven RBI.
Morneau has been on a tear, hitting .382 (13-for-34) over the past eight games, but with only one double and three RBI during that stretch. Willingham continues to struggle with his average, hitting .214 [6-for-28] in the past eight games with two doubles, a home run and three RBI. Doumit is 6-for-21 [.286] while playing in six of the past eight games, with one double and one RBI.
The Twins as a team hit .224 during the eight-game streak with five home runs and 21 RBI.
The Twins signed outfielder Oswaldo Arcia in Venezuela when he was 16 and have had him in the organization since 2007.
Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said Arcia, who is hitting .263 with four home runs — tied for second on the team to Willingham’s six — has always hit in the Twins’ farm system.
“He has always been a middle-of-the-order-type of bat, and he’s always produced with RBI production and hitting the ball over the fence enough,” Ryan said. “It doesn’t look like he’s intimidated with the major league area, and [Twins manager Ron Gardenhire] has given him a chance to hit against both [left- and righthanded pitchers]. He’s done a nice job with the short amount of time he’s been up here. The kid is 22, just turned 22 the other day, and he’s doing quite well.
“We’ve always thought he was going to be pretty good. You never know when a guy comes up the first time through on how they’re going to react and whether or not they’re going to be intimidated [by] major league stadiums and the major league pitching and so forth [and if] they’re going to be able to adjust, but this guy has always been pretty good in the minor leagues.”
• Trevor May, the pitcher the Twins received in the Denard Span trade that also brought over Vance Worley (who was optioned to Class AAA Rochester on Wednesday), is pitching well at Class AA New Britain. May is 3-2 with a 3.91 ERA and 46 strikeouts over 48⅓ innings. May has been badly undone by his performance in two starts where he gave up 13 runs over eight innings. Without those two starts, May has a 1.80 ERA over his other seven starts.
• Jose Berrios, who was the Twins’ first-round pick [32nd overall] in the 2012 draft, is 3-1 with a 2.86 ERA over five starts at Class A Cedar Rapids. Berrios has posted an impressive 32-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 28⅓ innings.
• Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com, commenting on the Gophers’ football crossover rivals in 2014 being Michigan and Ohio State while Wisconsin faces Rutgers and Maryland that season, disputes the conspiracy theories of some Gophers followers. Rittenberg reports that Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany has nothing to do with making the football schedule, delegating that to assistant Mark Rudner and his staff. After they deal with leaguewide scheduling rules, a computer does the rest.
• Tyus Jones of Apple Valley, who continues to be one of the highest-rated basketball players in the country in the Class of 2014, will be on display along with his Howard Pulley squad and 44 other great teams at the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League tournament in Eagan this weekend. So far in EYBL play, Jones is averaging 23.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 6.8 assists and two turnovers per contest. He is also hitting a tremendous 56.5 percent of his shots from the field.
• Sandy Cohen, a 6-5 point guard from Seymour, Wis., is getting more scholarship offers following his terrific play in the EYBL. Cohen told NBC Sports that he was only getting offers from mid-majors before some breakout performances, including a 24-point, six-rebound game in a victory over Howard Pulley in April. Cohen has been offered a scholarship by the Gophers and Marquette, and teams such as UCLA have been in contact with him.
• One plus that Malik Smith, the former Florida International player, will give the Gophers and his former and future coach, Richard Pitino, is his ability to hit three-point shots. Smith ranked No. 1 in the Sun Belt Conference and No. 16 nationally with 96 three-pointers last season.
• ESPN.com NBA writer Chad Ford released his first post-lottery mock draft and has the Wolves taking C.J. McCollum from Lehigh with the ninth pick. McCollum was one of the best three-point shooters in college basketball but has been battling a foot injury. Ford wrote that at the NBA draft combine, McCollum participated in the athletic testing and “put fears to rest that his foot wasn’t 100 percent healed.”
Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 6:40, 7:40 and
8:40 a.m. and Sundays at 9:30 a.m.