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Get To Know Penn State Wide Receivers Coach Marques Hagans

Penn State football surprised quite a few people last week when it decided to fire wide receivers coach Taylor Stubblefield.

Stubblefield had served as the wideouts coach since 2020 and oversaw Jahan Dotson’s emergence, which culminated with Dotson being a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Stubblefield also guided Parker Washington and KeAndre Lambert-Smith through their development, as he arrived in Happy Valley just as the two wideouts were getting ready for their true freshman seasons.

When the Nittany Lions fired Stubblefield last week, many expected James Franklin and Co. to bring in a big name to fill the void. Bobby Engram and Joe Brady were just a few of those “big names” that were floated by speculative fans due to their ties to Happy Valley.

On Monday, the Nittany Lions officially hired Marques Hagans to be their next wide receivers coach and offensive recruiting coordinator. Hagans, who was a college quarterback at Virginia, played in the NFL as a wideout from 2006 to 2010 before returning to his alma mater as a graduate assistant in 2011.

Hagans had been a mainstay in Charlottesville since his return to the Cavaliers. He served as a graduate assistant until 2012 and took over the wide receivers coach position in 2013, a role he kept up until his departure. He also took on the associate head coach role under Tony Elliott in 2022.

During his time at the helm of the wideout room, Hagans coached some of the program’s all-time greatest receivers, most notably Olamide Zaccheaus, who holds the program’s all-time receptions record with 250. Additionally, he has the second-most receiving yards (2,753 yards) and fourth-most receiving touchdowns (22). Zaccheaus led the ACC and finished fifth in the nation with 93 receptions in 2018.

Among the 20 players with the most catches in team history, nine of them were coached by Hagans. Furthermore, in 2017, the Cavaliers saw all-around success from its receiving corps. For the first time in program history, three wideouts — Zaccheaus, Andre Levrone, and Doni Dowling — surpassed 600 yards in the same season.

In 2021, Virginia was the only team in the country to have five pass-catchers surpass 500 yards, with four wideouts having more than 600 yards.

Prior to his coaching career, Hagans was Virginia’s starting quarterback in 2004 and 2005. During his four-year playing career in Charlottesville, Hagans totaled 4,877 passing yards, 38 touchdowns (27 passing, 11 rushing), and completed 62.3% of his passes. Additionally, he posted 902 rushing yards on 239 carries.

Hagans currently has the 10th-most passing yards in program history and the seventh-most total offensive yards with 5,779 yards.

His collegiate versatility propelled the Rams to draft him in the fifth round with the No. 144 overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. He bounced around the NFL for a few years between the Rams, Chiefs, Colts, and the now-Commanders before returning to Virginia in 2011.

He’ll now take over a wide receiver room that just received a much-needed boost through the transfer portal. Two established wideouts — Malik McClain and Dante Cephas — announced their commitment to Penn State just over a week ago. They’ll join a position group that was previously headlined by KeAndre Lambert-Smith and Trey Wallace.

Hagans quickly took to social media on Monday to express his excitement over his new position.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be led by James Franklin and work with his tremendous coaching staff,” Hagans said in a statement. “I am excited to be part of the tradition of Penn State Football, to uphold the standard of excellence and to work relentlessly to compete for championships. My wife, Lauren, and our boys cannot wait to get to Happy Valley.”

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a senior majoring in journalism and is Onward State's managing editor. He grew up in Lindenhurst, New York, and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his bad sports takes, follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to [email protected]

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