Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Michigan punter Hagerup will sit out '13
By Brian Bennett
Michigan punter Will Hagerup has been reinstated to the team but will not play in 2013, the school announced on Tuesday. Hagerup, who was suspended for an unspecified violation of team rules in December, will be allowed to play as a fifth-year senior in 2014.
For now, Hagerup will practice and be involved in all team activities outside of gameday. He led the Big Ten and finished 11th nationally in punting average at 45 yards per attempt in 2012, although he only punted 33 times in 11 games. He was named the first-team All-Big Ten punter in the media vote.
Junior Matt Wile started at punter in the Outback Bowl against South Carolina and had a 48-yard average on three attempts, two of which he placed inside the Gamecocks' 20-yard line. Wile averaged 35.9 yards per punt last season, but the more important number is that he put nine of his 12 attempts inside the opponents' 20. Michigan often used him as the "pooch" specialist.
Wile, who also handles kickoffs for the Wolverines, might not have as big of a leg as Hagerup but should be just fine as the starting punter this season. Meanwhile, Hagerup -- who said "the past five months have been an incredible, humbling time for me" in an official school release -- must stay in head coach Brady Hoke's good graces the rest of this year in order to have a shot to win his job back in 2014.