LINCOLN — For the first time, Christian Hagan won’t be excited for Nebraska’s tunnel walk.
The Omaha Westside grad grew up with Husker football — his family held the same season tickets for nearly four decades, and Hagan was often in those seats clad in Nebraska gear. He’ll be back in Memorial Stadium on Saturday, but it will be on the opposing sideline.
And this time, the Northern Illinois placekicker won’t watch as the Huskers exit the tunnel.
“I’m going to try and stay away from the outside stuff and just focus on the game. It’s the best thing I could do,” Hagan said. “There’s a lot going on, especially for me, so if I get caught up in that it’s probably not the best thing.”
A quarterback at Westside, Hagan chose the Huskies primarily because the MAC school offered him a scholarship to kick. And he has been doing so ever since.
As a true freshman, Hagan beat out a senior.
“There was one week where we’d compete in practice and in warmups (for the job),” Hagan said. “Then one day, Coach had everyone come watch and we were back and forth kicking for the starting job.”
The senior missed a few. Hagan was perfect.
Still, it took him a while to get used to the position change.
His senior year, Hagan set school records in passing yards, completion percentage, touchdown passes and quarterback rating while leading the Warriors to the state championship game. Hagan threw for 2,200 yards and 24 touchdowns, earning first-team All-Nebraska honors.
His first season at NIU, Hagan often found himself on the sideline itching…
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