Souhan: Gophers lineman Hageman leaves his mark on the Big Ten

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 2, 2013 - 6:59 AM

By the end, the Gophers senior was a force to be reckoned with.


Ra’Shede Hageman tackled Spartans running back Jeremy Langford for no gain in the second half.

Photo: MARLIN LEVISON • Star Tribune,

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– Dinner was cooling fast. Ra’Shede Hageman waited patiently at the back of the trailer outside of Spartan Stadium while his coach spoke, and as Hageman waited, a cardboard box of fast food sat on the table beside him, like a spinning lure in front of a large shark.

“We only get one of these,” Hageman said. “I may have to sneak back in there and get another.”

The immediate reward for playing in a Big Ten stadium is one unsatisfying container of food-like sustenance. Hageman knows there will be more lavish feasts in the NFL. He also knows his hunger has served him well.

Born in 1990 in Lansing, Mich., Hageman didn’t know his father. His mother placed him in foster care. A dozen homes later, Eric Hageman and Jill Coyle brought him to their house in Minneapolis.

After starring at Washburn High, Hageman signed with the University of Minnesota. Sometimes more participant than achiever, he served an academic suspension, and landed on a police report. Saturday, he finished his Big Ten career, near his birth home, with a couple of scout-pleasing plays in the Gophers’ 14-3 loss to Michigan State.

“I feel like it was about maturity,” he said. “Seeing the ability I had and taking full advantage of it. Three years ago, if you told me I was going to be the top dog on defense, I would have laughed.”

Michigan State forgot, for a moment, where the top dog lines up. Early in the second quarter, the Spartans ran for 2 yards on third-and-3, then lined up quickly to catch the Gophers unprepared on fourth down.

Jeremy Langford took the handoff and ran up the middle. Hageman shrugged off a block, bear-hugged Langford and snatched him off the ground, stopping him for no gain.

“There was a little scuffle before that, we had a few shared words,” Hageman said of a Michigan State player he didn’t identify. “That’s fine. That’s part of the game. I didn’t decide to make a play. It just happened.

“I was fired up. Before that, he was grabbing my facemask and playing after the whistle. I had a couple of words to share. He had a couple of words to share, too. I just had to put my words into my actions and let my play do the talking.”

Hageman hasn’t been an every-down force during his senior season at Minnesota, but he has made big plays. His interception against Northwestern helped change the course of what appeared to be a lost season, another moment in which he translated words into action.

Before beating Northwestern, the Gophers were 0-2 in the Big Ten, having been manhandled by Iowa and outclassed by Michigan.

“It was our bye week, after the Michigan game,” Hageman said. “We shot out a text about having a team meeting, just the players, and we got together and talked and just got things off our chests. We focused on competing more, and having that convert into our games. I felt like that was a leap forward.”

Four victories later, the Gophers have earned a bowl bid. Before he begins thinking about professional football, Hageman wants to enjoy his last sanctioned trip as an amateur. He wants to trade cold turf for warm surf.

“I really want to go to Florida, but I’m not going to be picky,” he said. “I’m down for whatever. I’m ready for another game, to play somebody other than the Big Ten, to shake things up. I feel like that’s really going to be my last game.

“It’s going to be all eyes on the Gophers and we definitely have to come out with a ‘W.’ Beaches, weather, sand, girls, you know. You know.

Hageman left the Big Ten, left behind East Lansing, with a bear hug and a fast-food carton or two.

“Looking back, I feel like I definitely matured on and off the field,” he said. “I’m excited about where I’m going, and I’m definitely excited about how far I came.”

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LA Lakers
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Minnesota 8:00 PM
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Michigan State 71 FINAL
Rutgers 51
Boston Univ 45 2nd Half 11:47
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Ohio State 51
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Va Military 44
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Fla Gulf Coast 48
Kennesaw St 42 2nd Half 11:20
North Florida 64
Appalachian St 16 2nd Half
Ga Southern 33
Holy Cross 18 2nd Half
Loyola-Maryland 26
Eastern Ill 22 2nd Half
UT Martin 43
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Belmont 26
Connecticut 14 1st Half 9:47
Cincinnati 17
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Saint Peters 10
SIU Edwardsville 20 1st Half 8:15
SE Missouri St 22
Marshall 21 1st Half 10:32
Southern Miss 12
Tenn Tech 13 1st Half 8:39
Tennessee St 15
Middle Tennessee 11 1st Half 14:41
TX-San Antonio 12
Ill-Chicago 11 1st Half 10:56
Milwaukee 10
Weber State 12 1st Half 10:53
North Dakota 10
Denver 11 1st Half 12:06
North Dakota St 5
IUPU-Ft Wayne 15 1st Half 8:54
South Dakota 18
Louisiana 7 1st Half 14:33
South Alabama 8
Georgia State 7:15 PM
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Arkansas State
ULM 7:30 PM
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Cal State Fullerton
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California 10:00 PM
Washington St
Louisiana 47 FINAL
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Georgia Southern 74
Niagara 58 FINAL
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FIU 67
Southern Miss 65 FINAL
Marshall 67
Georgia State 45 FINAL
TX-Arlington 57
Ark-Little Rock 69 FINAL
Arkansas State 70
Troy 90
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(17) Duke 62
(6) Tennessee 41 2nd Half 12:18
(10) Kentucky 44
(24) Oklahoma 44 2nd Half 13:32
(14) Texas 39
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IUPU-Ft Wayne 57
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CS-Northridge 40
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Boston U 25
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Delaware 55
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Northeastern 29
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Maine 72
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Vermont 38
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UNC-Wilmington 51 2nd Half 5:43
William & Mary 57
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Wake Forest 36
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(1) South Carolina 53
(23) Syracuse 41 2nd Half 11:44
(8) Louisville 52
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Florida 34
Iona 54 2nd Half 5:39
Fairfield 66
Manhattan 25 2nd Half 8:25
Marist 66
NC State 57 2nd Half 6:16
Virginia 53
(4) Notre Dame 58 2nd Half 10:50
Virginia Tech 35
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Purdue 33
(5) Maryland 64 2nd Half 11:37
Michigan 50
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Cleveland State 44
Wright State 78 2nd Half 11:57
Oakland 62
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Kennesaw St 31
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Holy Cross 34
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Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
McNeese State 7:00 PM
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(18) Miss State 14
IUPUI 9 1st Half 10:44
Western Ill 22
Abilene Christian 20 1st Half 9:45
Houston Baptist 12
Oral Roberts 15 1st Half 9:48
South Dakota St 10
Louisiana Tech 11 1st Half 11:37
Western Ky 18
TX-San Antonio 8 1st Half 11:48
Middle Tennessee 17
Texas-El Paso 14 1st Half 8:56
UAB 15
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Arkansas 16
Grand Canyon 13 1st Half 9:19
Illinois 13 1st Half 12:10
(15) Nebraska 9
(20) Iowa 23 1st Half 11:02
Northwestern 20
Utah Valley U 12 1st Half 11:55
Chicago State 15
Green Bay 16 1st Half 9:16
Valparaiso 8
Ole Miss 8:00 PM
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Montana State
North Dakota 8:00 PM
Weber State
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