ATHENS, Ohio -- Redshirt junior safety Javon Hagan (Jacksonville, Fla.) started all 13 games for the Ohio football team during the 2017 season en route to earning All-Mid-American Conference Second Team honors. He registered 85 total tackles (45 solo, 40 assisted), averaging 6.5 tackles per game and posting 0.5 tackles for loss. He also added seven pass breakups. Hagan recorded one interception on Oct. 31 in a 45-28 win over Miami, then picked up a fumble recovery a week later in a 38-10 victory over Toledo. Hagan also set a career high with 14 tackles on Nov. 14 at Akron.
On July 23, Hagan was named to the 2018 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watchlist by the Oklahoma City Hall of Fame. The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award annually recognizes the best defensive back in college football. The award is based on performance on the field, athletic ability and character. As such, it is considered one of the most coveted awards in college football.
OhioBobcats.com caught up with Hagan following the Bobcats' second practice of fall camp today for a quick question and answer session.
Q: What are your thoughts on the first two days of fall camp?
A: We're definitely faster. The offense is doing a magnificent job. It feels like they're getting better every day. Every year since we lost the MAC Championship, it feels like the offense has gotten better. The offense used to be our struggle, but now, it's actually a positive, and it's actually our advantage, just because they put up so many points. These two practices, they've definitely picked it up. Defense, we're getting adjusted to a few things, getting the young guys in and trying to teach them the playbook and just trying to work on communicating. Last year, the games that we lost, we really didn't communicate that well. We're just working on putting everything together and working for each other.
Q: You go up against the wide receivers every day. What is the strength of that position group?
A: The strength of that group is definitely the discipline. They listen to their coaches. They don't throw a fuss or get mad because they don't get the route that they want or they don't get the ball. They run every route full speed. They're very coachable. No matter if they're getting the ball or not, if it's a run, if it's a pass, they're working hard every play.
Q: How do you deal with the grind of camp, both mentally and physically?
A: This is what I signed up for. If I didn't want to be out here, I wouldn't be going through all of this hard work. All the running throughout summer conditioning and the meetings, I feel like no one would go through that if they didn't really want this. This is what I signed up for. I have goals in mind that I want to accomplish, and I have places where I want to be, so I love being out here.
Q: What part of your game have you been working to improve since the end of last season?
A: Just crafting and being more coachable. I say more coachable by staying true to the technique. This camp, I'm really just focusing on staying coachable, staying disciplined and trusting that technique to make the plays for me.
Q: What goals have you set out for yourself?
A: Definitely win a MAC Championship. Win the Jim Thorpe Award. Be the No. 1 defense in the conference. Bring the team to a bowl game. We definitely want to boost our efficiency on defense because we were very bad when it came to the secondary. I want to increase that for us.