by Nathan Farmer | @nlfarmer1
Once Cody Hagen is done with this whole football thing, he might have a future as a sports journalist with the breaking news he dropped on ESPN 960 Monday afternoon.
The class of 2022 four-star wide receiver out of Corner Canyon broke the news that his older brother, former class of 2020 three-star quarterback Cole Hagen, will be transferring from one Y to another – from Yale to BYU – with plans to join the Cougar football team.
— Benjamin Criddle (@CriddleBenjamin) June 13, 2022
The dual-threat signal caller recently returned from his mission to Washington, D.C. Hagen will reportedly join the team as a preferred walk-on, grayshirt this season, and enroll in January. With the two-time state champion reportedly coming to Provo, what does Cole Hagen bring to the quarterback room at BYU in 2023 that features the likes of Jacob Conover, Cade Fennegan, Sol-Jay Maiava, Nick Billoups and Ryder Burton?
He’s a proven winner
In his three years of varsity at Corner Canyon, Cole Hagen never lost a game he started. Hagen led the Chargers to a perfect 28-0 record as the starting quarterback, including two UHSAA state championships in 2018 and 2019. Cole was also named the Utah Gatorade Football Player of the Year 2019, a feat his brother followed up in 2021.
He brings competition
With Jaren Hall likely having his sights set on the NFL Draft following the 2022 season, the starting job will be wide open for the Cougars heading into the Big 12 conference in 2023. Conover looks to be the leader in the clubhouse, with Fennegan right behind him, but neither have much game experience at the moment. The quarterback competition will be interesting to watch next offseason, with the likes of Hagen, Conover, Fennegan, Billoups, and Maiava all vying for reps with the first and second-strings, with 2023 commit Burton planning on graduating early to be able to participate in Spring practices.
Kalani Sitake loves having competition at all positions, and quarterback will be no exception in 2023.
He’s a smart kid
Out of high school, Hagen was recruited by a slew of prestigious academic institutions looking to add him to their roster. Hagen was recruited by the likes of Baylor, Harvard, Brown, BYU and Stanford before committing to Yale. Hagen posted a 4.0 GPA and a 35 on the ACT, per his bio on Twitter. He was also given the 2020 Utah Scholar-Athlete Award by the National Football Foundation.
Congrats to QB Cole Hagen who received Top Utah Scholar Athlete Award for the National Football Foundation. He was asked to represent Utah by giving a speech on behalf of the others in the virtual awards ceremony. (24:30) @usatodayhss @HSFBamerica https://t.co/CigDQ3Mjhd pic.twitter.com/CReapmkYa3
— CornerCanyonFootball (@CCHSFOOTBALL_) May 1, 2020
It’s hard to understand why a smart kid like Hagen with the tangibles of a high-level college quarterback didn’t receive more offers out of high school – his only offers listed on 247 Sports came from Yale, Harvard, Dixie State, and Weber State.
He fits the mold of Aaron Roderick quarterbacks.
Anyone who can step in following the departure of Zach Wilson and match – or in some ways, improve upon – the level of production must be a great quarterback. We’ve seen it with Jaren Hall at BYU and we saw it with Cole Hagen at Corner Canyon.
Following the Chargers’ heartbreaking loss in the 2017 5A playoffs to Lehi in Wilson’s final high school game, Hagen took over as the starting quarterback and put up better numbers than Wilson in his junior and senior seasons. In Wilson’s final two seasons, he threw for 5,694 yards, 44 TDs, and 13 interceptions and a QB rating of 113.65. Across his junior and senior seasons, Hagen threw for 7,065 yards, 80 TDs, and 23 interceptions, posting a QB rating of 122.0. Hagen played six more games than Wilson in that span, but his yards per game average – 272.5 for Hagen versus 284.7 for Wilson – was comparable, and Hagen posted a slightly better TD/INT ratio – 3.47 to 3.38.
— Cole Hagen (@_colehagen_) December 2, 2019
Hagen isn’t afraid to call his own number, which is a skill Roderick likes to have in his quarterbacks. Hagen ran for 1,766 yards in his final two seasons at Corner Canyon, including 20 TDs and an average of 67 YPG. When you look at Hagen’s film, many of these yards come on designed runs – read options and QB draws – but he isn’t afraid to step up in the pocket and scramble in the face of pressure, something we’ve seen plenty of from Zach Wilson and Jaren Hall the last few seasons.
Hagen’s achievements as Wilson’s successor helped put Corner Canyon on the map and helped turn it into the quarterback factory it is today. Jaxson Dart doesn’t end up at Ole Miss and Devin Brown doesn’t end up at Ohio State if Hagen doesn’t build upon Wilson’s success in Draper. We’ll have to wait at least two seasons to see the Hagen-to-Hagen connection play out for BYU, but the skillset and versatility Cole Hagen brings to the table must have Sitake and Roderick excited.
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To hear Cody Hagen’s full interview with Ben Criddle, listen below.