A year off from football taught new Tennessee Titans wide receiver Derek Hagan that many things existed outside football. Yet the veteran wide receiver wasn’t ready to walk away just yet. He knew he had to do what he had to do and wait for his next opportunity.
An eight year veteran of the game, Hagan was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the 3rd round (82nd overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft. Hagan played three years for the Dolphins racking up 53 receptions for 645 yards and three touchdowns.
After leaving the Dolphins, he spent three years with the Giants, a split season in 2011 between the Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills, and another year with the Oakland Raiders where he caught 20 passes for 259 yards with a 13.0 yards per reception average. In his NFL career, he has played in 83 games and caught 129 passes for 1480 yards and six touchdowns.
For those familiar with Hagan’s career, his passion for the game is hardly surprising. Hagan was a four year player at Arizona State where he started setting records as a true freshman in 2002. He caught 32 passes that season which broke the ASU record previously held by John Jefferson. That record has since been broken by Zach Miller.
In 2003 he earned all Pac 10 honorable mention honors with a 66 reception, 1076 yards and 9 touchdowns season. It was the first of three consecutive 1000 plus receiving yards seasons of his college career. In 2004, he was one of 11 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award, which is annually presented to the top wide receiver in the nation. Following another outstanding season as a senior he was showered with honors including first team All Pac 10 honors. His list of honors would fill a page.
Hagan’s year out of football clearly was a trying time but his passion and love for the game shines through in his interviews. Attend any training camp this year and his name is on everyone’s lips as he continues to make plays for the Tennessee Titans. He looks comfortable in their offense and seems very excited to be part of the team.
As for Hagan, he just hopes to continue to make plays while playing the game he loves and that he has played most of his life. Hagan has a very easy going personality and his smile is infectious. You can listen to his locker room interview below.