Rising Star, DE Hagan Collins, Brusly Middle School (Brusly, LA)

The 5’11, 179-pound DE Hagan Collins is from Brusly, Louisiana. He was a top performer at the Gridiron Football All-American Bowl Game, making MVP for the defensive side on the west team. Having played football for a number of years, he is an outstanding player. Hagan is unique because of his incredible off the ball speed, which allows him to get past defenders. He totaled 6 sacks, 53 tackles, 7 touchdowns, and 84 running yards in his prior season.  He has a big impact on the ball from both sides. 

How did you get started in football, and what inspired you to play the sport?

My dad signed me up for football at the age of 5. I played in the youth community football league until I was 13. I would say my dad inspired me to play. He pushed my brother and I on improving and that is why I love football so much.

Can you share a memorable moment or game that stands out in your junior high football career so far?

One of the most memorable moment of junior high was when we played Zachary and I made my first touchdown of the season.

How do you balance schoolwork and football during the season?

My parents are very strict on grades and they don’t mind pulling me from any sports if I’m falling behind in school.

What aspects of your game do you feel you have improved upon the most since you started playing?

The biggest aspect that I improved since playing football is my foot work.

What are your individual goals for the upcoming football season, and how do they align with the team’s objectives?

My upcoming goal for my freshman year is to get faster, stronger and start my first year.

Are there any professional football players you look up to, and if so, why? 

I look up to Federico Warner and Micah Parsons. I enjoy watching them at the same position that I play. They show me how to be a better player and what to watch for when I am on the field.

How do you stay motivated during practices and training sessions, especially when facing tough drills or exercises?

I stay motivated during practice by knowing that it will pay off. I am one of 6 boys in my family so my brothers and I love working out. My dad wakes us up early and we do different drills together. So most drills come easy when I am practicing.

What advice would you give to other young players?

If I can give any advice to younger kids it would to make sure they keep their grades up and work out even whey don’t want to.

Aside from football, what is an interesting fact about you?

I play basketball and baseball.

Which college would you most like to play for? 

If I can go to any college I would choose LSU.

What did it mean to be a part of the Gridiron Bowl football game? 

Playing in the Gridiron Bowl meant so much to me. It was a great experience. I got to meet new players and coaches while learning about my position. Also making MVP made me feel so proud of myself. Throughout the game I stayed disciplined which made me able to contain the outside and make good plays.

What are your biggest strengths on the field? 

My biggest strength is my ability to be quick off the ball.

What is the biggest challenge you face on the field? 

My biggest challenge is trying to contain the outside while also trying to keep my containment on the quarterback.

How has playing football impacted other areas of your life, such as academics and personal growth?

Playing football has made me mature a lot. It taught me how to be a leader and taught me how to communicate in a uncomfortable environment.