For 3-star transfer Cole Hagen, excellence on and off the field is a family affair

In December, BYU Class of 2022 commit Cody Hagen was named the Gatorade Player of the Year for football in the state of Utah—one of the highest honors bestowed on a prep football player.

The award is special because it recognizes the student-athlete as more than just one of the top athletes in the state.  It also shows their commitment to academics and community service.  The Gatorade website noted that as a senior Cody:

  • caught 89 passes for 1,805 yards and 23 touchdowns, averaged 20.3 yards per reception, and ranked second in the nation in receiving yards.
  • maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom.
  • tutored special needs students in his school and has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics, Draper Rehabilitation and Care Center and a homeless shelter.

It’s an incredible accomplishment and well deserved. Cody spent the last two seasons breaking records on the football field and on the track, and BYU fans are very excited the 4-star recruit has decided to take his talents to Provo.  Hagen is one of the five highest-rated high school recruits to commit to play at BYU in the last five years.

But he isn’t the first Hagen to have success on the football field, on the track, or in the classroom.

Indeed, just two years prior, the same Gatorade Player of the Year award was given to his older brother Cole, for his excellence on the field, in the classroom, and in the community.  Here is his summary:

Cole Hagen, 2019-2020 Gatorade Player of the Year

  • Athletic Excellence: The 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior quarterback passed for 3,655 yards and 43 touchdowns this past season, leading the Chargers (14-0) to the Class 6A state championship. Hagen completed 213 of 358 passes, and rushed for 1,069 yards and 11 touchdowns on 137 carries. A two-time First Team All-State honoree, he has been invited to play in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl.
  • Academic Achievement: Hagen has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. He remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.
  • Exemplary Character: An Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America, Hagen is also president of his church’s youth group and has volunteered locally on behalf of a homeless shelter as well as the Draper Rehabilitation and Care Center.

As incredible as it is to have two brothers given this prestigious award, the brothers Hagen were not actually the first Hagens to be so crowned.  Their father Sean was also awarded Player of the Year back in 1992-1993, as the quarterback and defensive back for Brighton high school.

It seems Hagens like to stick together and follow in one anothers’ footsteps.

And this is very good news for BYU fans, as BOTH brothers will be bringing their talents to Provo to play for the Cougs.

Flipping Commitments

Older brother Cole was originally committed to play at Yale University.  However, after serving an LDS mission in Washington, D.C. and following the commitment of his younger brother Cody, he has flipped his commitment and will be enrolling at BYU this fall.

Cole was a 3-star recruit out of Corner Canyon high school (Draper, UT), and was offered scholarships to Harvard, Utah Tech, Weber State, and Yale.  While being courted by the Ivy league is pretty impressive, Cole was absolutely under-recruited.

Consider his resume.

Cole went 28-0 as a starter at Corner Canyon, winning two state titles, and being named Utah’s Gatorade Player of the Year in 2019. Over those two seasons he threw for 7,065 yards and 80 touchdowns (to 23 interceptions), while rushing 233 times for 1,766 yards and 20 more scores.  His 8,800 total yards and 100 touchdowns are near the top of the all-time state leaderboard.

In addition to winning Gatorade Player of the Year he was also awarded Male Athlete of the Year by the State of Sports National Football Foundation.

On top of that Cole also won a state title as a member of the basketball team, and won another as a member of the track and field team.

He maintained a 4.0 GPA, scored a 35 out of 36 on the ACT (the highest score ever recorded for a BYU football recruit), and was awarded Academic All-State, Top Utah Scholar Athlete (National Football Foundation), and the NIAAA National scholarship—the only Utahn to ever receive the award (UIAAA.org).

Oh, and he earned his Eagle scout.

What is the driving force behind the academic and athletic success of the Hagen brothers? Cole is quick to give credit to those who helped:

“Academics were always a big priority in our house. Being able to balance it all was tough but I had a lot of support from a lot of different people so that helped. Being competitive is also a big thing in our home and so that naturally drives someone to want to be the best in everything they do.”

Finding a place in Provo

Hagen will enroll at BYU this fall but will Grayshirt for the 2022 season and join the team officially in January 2023.

How was BYU able to land a commitment from Hagen?

“I’ve always known BYU was a great school and had a great football program. I think after being away from everything out on the mission I had lots of time to do some thinking and I just felt like BYU would be a better fit for me in the long run.”

What is still to be determined is whether Cole will stay at quarterback position–where Jacob Conover seems primed to take over for Jaren Hall–or if the coaches might want to try him out somewhere else.

“As of right now I’ll be at quarterback. Of course if the coaches feel I can help at a different position, I’ll be happy to do what’s needed.”

Whether it’s at QB or somewhere else, the Cougs are getting a steal of a commitment with the older Hagen brother.

About Tyler Christensen 763 Articles
Tyler Christensen is a teacher, sports writer, speaker, and ultra-marathon runner. He is the founder of BYU Insider, D1 Recruiting, Virtual School Assembly, and After the Run. When he's not writing or speaking, he's spending time at home in southern Utah with his amazing wife and four children.