Bagley: “I Like To Be On An Island”

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Julia Jade Moran

Central Connecticut cornerback mirroring opposing receiver against Fordham University.

Trevi Alickolli , Assistant Sports Editor

After a full season of playing out of position, Central Connecticut senior cornerback Tajik Bagley is ready and excited to get back to where he feels most comfortable, on an island with the opposing team’s best receivers.

Bagley spent his junior year playing safety for the Blue Devils but looking at his statistics, it would not cross anyone’s mind that he was out of position.

Last season, Bagley was fourth on the team with 50 tackles, second on the team with nine pass breakups and added an interception on his way to being voted on the All-NEC First Team.

Now for the first time since 2017, he is heading into the season as the starting cornerback for the Blue Devils. Last time he was a full-time corner, Bagley led the NEC conference with 16 pass breakups.

The position fits me,”Bagley said. “I like to be on an island. That’s just me mentally as well, I feel like I can handle myself one-on-one with anybody … the corner position fits my life; it fits who I am as a person.”

Bagley’s move back to corner position had left a question mark next to starting safety Dj Exilhomme, but it appears that role has been filled by another corner turned safety, sophomore Jahlil Brown.

Jahlil is my bro … he’s legit. I think he’s going to be great,” Bagley said on his replacement.

Despite the position change, there is one thing that has remained consistent throughout Bagley’s career, his special-team contributions.

In 2018, as a kick returner, he averaged 22.0 yards per return and as a punt returner, 13.1. Including an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown against Columbia.

As a corner, Bagley has impressed his new quarterback Aaron Winchester, who in a recent interview, described him as, “lockdown.”

Although, it’s nothing new for Bagley to be giving his quarterbacks trouble.

Jake Dolegala. Man, it gives me the chills to see him play because I was a guy that gave him problems and now he’s in the NFL,” Bagley said.

It makes me think I can do this at the next level. So I’m just remaining humble and trying to get there.”

Dolegala was Bagley’s teammate throughout his career at Central but is now continuing his career in the NFL as a backup quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Meanwhile, Bagley still has his senior year remaining with the Blue Devils and has matured as a leader and has learned valuable lessons, especially from last season.

Central fell one game short of another potential NEC Championship but while teammate J’Von Brown avoids any talks about last season, Bagley learned his lesson.

“We learned that you can lose any game at any time so you have to keep your foot on the gas throughout the season,” Bagley said.

When asked what his goals for this season are, Bagley did not go off stating any individual stats nor did he mention winning any awards.

Instead, he kept is simple and to the point, just as some of the best leaders on any football team would.

“Lead my team to the NEC championship and then take it from there,Bagley said.

Tajik Bagley would welcome anyone on an island with him, but he probably cannot guarantee a pleasant stay for any opposing wide receiver.