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Archive for Sunday, August 19, 1990

HAGAN MAY PLAY BASEBALL FORCAREER

August 19, 1990

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— If Colorado's Darian Hagan isn't the best quarterback in the Big Eight, he's definitely in the top three.

Yet Hagan's future may be in professional baseball, not football.

Hagan stands only 5-10, after all, and who's the last NFL quarterback who stood two inches below six feet?

Hagan, now a junior, rushed for over 1,000 yards and passed for over 1,000 yards in guiding Colorado to within one game of the national championship last year. Naturally, he's regarded as a Heisman Trophy candidate.

YET HAGAN knows you can't barter the Heisman at the grocery store.

"What happened to Tony Rice and Major Harris opened my eyes," Hagan said.

Rice led Notre Dame to the national title last fall and wasn't drafted. Harris, a Heisman candidate at West Virginia, is currently in the Canadian Football League.

Fortunately, Hagan may have an option neither Rice nor Harris had. Hagan can play baseball. How good is he?

Well, Toronto selected him in the 40th round of last June's draft not exactly Bo Jackson Land but the Blue Jays were gambling. Hagan hasn't played baseball since high school, and he can't play here because CU doesn't field a team.

"I GUESS they went on what I did in high school," Hagan said.

Back home in Los Angeles this summer, Toronto scouts worked him out at shortstop, second base and centerfield. The Blue Jays offered him a contract for how much he won't say and a plane ticket to one of the cities in the club's minor-league system.

"They said somewhere, but I can't pronounce the name," Hagan said.

If Hagan had signed, he would have retained his college football eligibility and made some money this summer.

But apparently the Blue Jays wouldn't up the ante to make it worth Hagan's while. He had a good-paying job in L.A. as a loading dock worker, and didn't want to go to wherever it was the Blue Jays wanted to send him without a heavier wallet.

Finally, Hagan drew the line.

"The negotiations were going so long that I wasn't getting my football workouts in, so I decided to break it off."

Still, the interest the Blue Jays showed in him was flattering.

"Oh, yeah, I was surprised," he said, "but I'm a football player."

NOTES

Colorado will pocket a minimum of $550,000 for playing Tennessee in the Disneyland Pigskin Classic a week from today. The Buffs don't have to share it with the other Big Eight schools, either. . .

Rodell "House" Guest, a 6-5, 240-pound junior forward on CU's basketball team, has been working as a linebacker in preseason, but he'll go back to basketball on Oct. 15. Guest has never played organized football before. . .

CU has fewer than 100 season tickets left, and they require various contribution levels for purchase. . .

Colorado officials have sold only about 3,000 tickets for the Pigskin Classic, however. . .

Freshman quarterback Vance Joseph is a younger brother of Nebraska quarterback Mickey Joseph. "We were gonna red-shirt him," coach Bill McCartney said of the younger Joseph, "but not now. He's good." . . .

Tailback Eric Bieniemy won't play in Anaheim. He's sitting out a one-game McCartney-imposed suspension because of an incident that occurred at his mother's home in L.A. . .

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