Shiner's Dylan Hagens has only been back in the weight room for about three weeks since recovering from surgery on his right shoulder.
Shiner's Dylan Hagens has received an athletic scholarship offer from Baylor University and plans to play football for the NCAA Division I Bears. photo by Harry Reese, Shiner
But Hagens has all the incentive he needs to regain his strength after announcing a commitment to attend Baylor University on a football scholarship for the 2006 season.
"I didn't foresee anything like this happening this soon," said Hagens, who will be a senior at Shiner. "It's a new thing for me, especially coming from a (Class) 1A school. Waiting was never an option. Baylor's always been one of the schools I've been looking at."
Hagens elected to make a commitment to Baylor football after paying a visit to Waco to attend the spring game. He is likely to play on the offensive line for the Bears.
"The campus was awesome," Hagens said. "It was everything a person could ask for. It seemed like the players got along on the field. I felt like it was a good opportunity. I could play football and get a good education."
The 6-foot-7, 270-pound Hagens started at guard on the Shiner's 2004 state championship team. He had 36 knockdown blocks, did not allow a sack, and graded out at 85 percent.
Hagens also played on the defensive line during the postseason despite tearing cartilage in his shoulder the week before the Comanches' regional playoff game against Chilton. Hagens was bench pressing 285 pounds before his injury.
"There are a lot of things to like about Dylan," Shiner coach Steven Cerny said. "First of all, he's smart. He's got a good head on his shoulders and he's very coachable. He's also got good agility for a big guy. Not many big guys have his agility. There's no doubt he has the physical size and the coaches all think he's going to get bigger."
Duke, SMU, Texas A&M, Rice, and Houston expressed interest in Hagens, but he believes the Baylor program is headed in the right direction.
"I do believe [Baylor head football] coach Guy Morriss is going to turn things around," Hagens said. "Baylor's done it in baseball and girls basketball and I think football's next."
Hagens, who missed most of the baseball season because of his shoulder injury, is already looking forward to his senior season at Shiner.
"I'm trying to improve myself and work for the next step," Hagens said. "We want to pick up where we left off and hopefully something good will come from it."