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Athlete of the Week Q&A: Luke Hagy

Hi Luke, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with BRSN and congrats on the great performance this weekend! You boosted your career rushing yards total to 1,727, passing Scott Oliaro ’93 for 10th on the all-time list. You also had 105 yards rushing, which makes you the first Cornellian to hit the century mark four straight times since Chad Levitt ’97 did so six consecutive times during the 1996 season. How does that feel?

I think that it is pretty cool because 100-yard games are not just because of the running back. It is more of the success of the whole offense, especially the offensive line. The running back can’t do much if there aren’t holes and people doing a great job blocking on every play.

Cornell led 14-10 up until Bucknell’s Joey DeFloria made a 14-yard catch with 1:53 left in regulation. What can the Big Red do to hold on to leads in the future?

I think it is just learning how to make plays to win football games. Unfortunately, last year we weren’t in that position as often and it takes someone making a play to keep the lead and win the game. I think we will get there and I think this comes with building up the program.

How did it feel to play in your last homecoming game at Cornell?

It was actually pretty emotional for me. When we were waiting for the band to lead us up to the field from the Statler, I was thinking to myself that this is the last homecoming game I was ever going to play in. I wanted to make sure that I gave it my all and played hard for all my teammates. Once the band came by, though, it just made realize even more why my decision to come to Cornell was the best one I have ever made.

When did you first start playing football?  Have you always been a running back?

I first started playing football in 4th grade and my first position was quarterback. I played quarterback for a year, and then my second year I started the first game too. Then after the first game my coach moved me to running back, and I am really glad that he did! And ever since I have played running back and have been number 25.

Who has had the biggest influence on your football career?

My parents have definitely been the biggest influence on my football career with all of the support they have given me. So far they have been to all 31 of my games, home and away. They are always there for me no matter the situation and have provided me with more love and support than I could ever ask for.

What are the traits, physically and mentally, that a successful tailback needs to have?

For a running back, physically you need to be able to change direction quickly because you never know when you are going to have to make a cut or make a guy miss. You also need to have great body control so when you do get hit, you don’t fall to the ground right away and you can get YAC (yards after contact). Mentally, a running back needs to know the entire offense because we have to run complementary routes based on what the wide receivers are doing. We also need to know all of the protections so we are able to pick up the blitz from the other team.

If you didn’t play football, what sport would you play?

If I didn’t play football I would either play basketball or baseball since I played them both in high school as well.

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