Hager, a senior, has been putting on weight since the arrival of Tom Herman’s staff at Texas. But at 255 pounds, he can still hit 38 inches in the vertical jump. So how many guys at this year’s NFL combine jumped 38-plus at 255-plus? Only two: Dallas Cowboys first-round pick Leighton Vander Esch, and Ade Aruna, a sixth-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings. Hager, whose father Britt played nine seasons in the NFL, also can power-clean 360 pounds.
Perhaps the most remarkable part about this story is that Hager is hoping to enter preseason camp of his senior season with even more impressive testing numbers:
The combination of strength and explosiveness should help the notoriously high-motor Hager to build on his promising junior season at defensive end. Hager only ended the starting lineup for the last four games of 2017 after defensive coordinator Todd Orlando experimented with him and linebacker and initially struggled to find a way to get him on the field.
When Hager finally settled in at defensive end in the Lightning package, his production took off. Eventually, the 6’3, 255-pounder finished with nine tackles for loss, four sacks, and three quarterback hurries.
As a senior, Hager should start every game if he stays healthy, leading to a significant increase in production — recall that the Austin Westlake product played more often in 2016 and produced 64 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, and six sacks.
So expect a monster season from the newly-certified freak athlete.