Undrafted free agent safety Javon Hagan knows the opportunity he has in front of him with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He doesn’t plan on wasting it. His journey ahead is very much unwritten, but his determination will be integral in making his dreams come true.
Coming out of Ohio University, Hagan was a four-time All-MAC player of the year. He completed his college career with 318 tackles, 26 pass breakups, 10 tackles for a loss, nine forced fumbles, and six interceptions. He can be described as an aggressive safety who lines up all over the field. Hagan has the tools to play in the box and drop back into coverage. His elite tackling skills are definitely an asset. He’s an instinctive playmaker but a lack of a Pro Day might have led to him being overlooked and undrafted.
Hagan on what he knew scouts would want to see:
“The ability to make plays was definitely there, and they knew that. There were definitely boxes that needed to be checked as far as hips, how my hips were moving, and how fast. They wanted to see my speed….. I ended up running a 4.48 laser before I left to come to Ohio for my pro day….. I knew I’d have the opportunity at the end of the day and Tampa was able to present that to me.”
Playing For Bowles
Hagan said his biggest strength is watching film and was a major factor in why he was a playmaker. Preparation was key for him and allowed him to play without overthinking on Saturday’s knowing he put the work in during the week. While he hasn’t spoken to defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Hagan is very excited to play for him saying;
“There are some things in the packages that are a bit similar to what I did in college… I’m looking forward to playing for him. He’s a great guy by the things that I’ve read so far. I definitely did my homework and I’m definitely eager to get out there and listen and be coachable.”
As far as his role on the defense, he is currently listed at strong safety and is “studying the things a strong safety does as far as communication and the roles as far as the defense goes.” Hagan looks to make an immediate impact on special teams, where he takes pride in his ability and where he started his college career at Ohio. Not taking this opportunity for granted, he is focused on himself and trying to get better more than worrying about the competition on the roster. He knows the more he can help the team in unique ways, the greater the likelihood of making the roster.
A Homecoming of Sorts
As a Florida native and signing with the Buccaneers, Hagan calls it “a great opportunity for me due to the fact I have a lot of family members right up the street…. As far as the heat, “I’m a heat type of guy. I grew up playing in Florida. I love the humidity here.” Hagan says he tries to model his game after New York Jets safety Jamal Adams and has been studying his game ever since he played at LSU. He studies the things he does and tries to implement them into his game.
Hagan says he’s been training with a trainer three days a week and has access to a private gym, watching film and studying the playbook. He has little time for anything else. With the opportunity he has, he doesn’t want to take anything for granted and knows that the only way to earn a spot on the roster is to be prepared and put in the work! “This time can either make you or break you… It gives me a great opportunity to pass up the people who really aren’t doing that much and staying physically active. During this time, the grind don’t stop! So I’m definitely taking advantage of it for sure. It’s a great opportunity for me.”
As for downtime, Hagan says, “honestly, football has been every day… Being an undrafted player for one is a blessing because you get the opportunity because there’s a lot of guys who still haven’t received the call. It’s great to be in this predicament because it can go one of two ways. We all know that. I’m definitely focused on football.”
Understanding What’s Expected
While he’s excited to play with Tom Brady and the rest of the team, he notes that if he doesn’t do the things he’s supposed to do, he won’t be a part of the team. His plan is to focus on making the roster. One thing he wants people to know about him is “I’m a very humble guy but I’ll get after too. I’m very hungry. I’ve been defeating all odds, no matter what happens in my career I always find a way to get it done. I’m going to come with that chip on my shoulder and just do the right things.”
Javon Hagan is poised to open some eyes when toe meets leather this fall. He is ready to seize is opportunity.
Check out Joshua Allen’s full interview with Javon Hagan below.