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Thread: Rams want old story, new chapter
Rams want old story, new chapter
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Sunday, May. 14 2006
The Rams hope fifth-round draft pick Marques Hagans is the next Antwaan Randle
El. Not that this is a new story line for Hagans. Far from it.
Six years ago, Hagans committed to Indiana University, where he was supposed to
be Randle El's successor. Instead, Hagans spent a year at prep school getting
his academics in order, and then signed with the University of Virginia.
Randle El, of course, went on to fame and fortune in the NFL with Pittsburgh,
and now, Washington.
"He's done a tremendous job in the NFL making a name for himself being a
receiver, punt returner, and doing trick plays," Hagans said.
The Rams would like nothing better than for Hagans to do the same in St. Louis.
Like Randle El, Hagans spent most of his college career playing quarterback.
And he posted some impressive numbers throwing the football for the Cavaliers,
including a 62.3 career completion percentage that's second-best in school
But at 5 feet 9 1/2 inches, Hagans knew his QB days were over the moment his
college career ended.
"There's not too many quarterbacks in the NFL under 6 feet," Hagans said. "If
God didn't bless me with the ability to play other positions, I'd probably be
kind of stuck. But since I can do other things, like play receiver and return
punts, it wasn't a big change."
While backing up Matt Schaub in '02 and '03, Hagans returned 57 punts, one of
which went for a 69-yard touchdown against West Virginia in the Continental
Tire Bowl. He also carried 47 times for 198 yards and four TDs in those two
seasons. He caught 28 passes for 262 yards in '03. (Once Schaub left for the
NFL's Atlanta Falcons, Hagans became Virginia's starting quarterback in '04 and
"What he is is a heck of a football player," Rams coach Scott Linehan said
Sunday, following the second day of the team's rookie minicamp. "For a guy to
be able to do what he's done - play a number of positions in his college career
and be successful at it. Come to an NFL minicamp and play receiver full time,
and be really effective. ... That's hard. That's not a natural thing."
Hagans will be given every opportunity to nail down the punt-return job this
"But you've got to be able to play another position, and he's showed that at
receiver, he fits in there pretty well," Linehan said.
With only a morning practice remaining today to conclude the minicamp, Hagans'
work at wide receiver has been a pleasant surprise. He has made some tough
catches, diving for a sideline pass Saturday, and coming back across his body
for a pass thrown behind him Sunday.
"He just makes plays," Linehan said. "Making tough catches is part of making
plays. But what he does is catch the ball well with his hands. A lot of times,
guys that convert over (to wide receiver) want to 'body catch.' He catches
everything with his hands and goes out and gets the ball. And that's something
that's really hard to teach. That's a good start."
Besides his pass-catching work at Virginia, Hagans also some played wide
receiver in high school. In the 10th grade, he caught passes from Ronald Curry,
the college quarterback- turned-NFL wide receiver of the Oakland Raiders.
"So (wide receiver) is nothing that's impossible," Hagans said. "I've done it
before. I think the main thing for me is just learning the basic fundamentals
of how to be a true receiver, as opposed to just playing it for a little bit
and then going back to quarterback. Now, I'm a full-time receiver."
Even if Hagans continues to progress at wide receiver, he doesn't figure to be
more than a situational player on a unit that features Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce
and Kevin Curtis. His greatest impact as a rookie could come returning punts,
where his knack for making the first guy miss will come in handy.
"It's not something that you can work on," Hagans said. "Half the time when I
do stuff, it's not even planned. It just happens. It's like instinct. I thank
God for the ability that he gave me, but I don't know where it comes from."
Hagans lacks blazing speed, with 40 times in the 4.5- to 4.6-second range. But
he insists, "I've never been 'walked down' from behind in a game. ... I have
He's also got plenty of personality. His nickname is Biscuit. One of his listed
hobbies is watching the Cooking Channel. And he has 24 tattoos ... all from a
fellow Hagans refers to as "Ben in Charlottesville." He has a tattoo of his
home state. A tattoo of his area code. And tattoos devoted to deceased friends.
From time to time, he hangs out with NBA All-Star Allen Iverson, who's also
from the Tidewater area of Virginia.
And one other thing: His father used to be a wide receiver.
"So maybe this was meant to be," Hagans said, smiling.
-05-15-2006 #2Drew4EverRams Guest
Re: Rams want old story, new chapter
I`d settle for a brand new Tony Horne,anyone who can multi-task like Randle El must be a woman in disguise!
Re: Rams want old story, new chapter
LOLOriginally Posted by Drew4EverRams
Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams