Tajik Bagley Draft Profile

Trevi Alickolli, Sports Editor

Central Connecticut State star defensive back captain Tajik Bagley has been preparing for this moment his entire life. No matter how cloudy this dream appeared originating out of Ansonia, Connecticut, it is getting progressively clearer and he has a chance to defy the odds once again and make it into the Nation Football League.

“People are surprised,” Bagley said. “But this is what I’ve been working for my entire life.”

This journey has been a long one for Bagley and his family. He said that he didn’t have it the worst but it was definitely not ideal.

“I haven’t always had it the easiest, but I think that’s what makes me who I am today,” Bagley said. “I didn’t have the worst upbringing, don’t get me wrong. It just wasn’t an ideal situation but I’m making it work.”

Growing up, Bagley’s mother raised him and his sister as a single mother who was also getting her education at the same time. Making it work has been Bagley’s life motto on and off the field.

On the field, he makes it work wherever he is asked to line up. Whether that’s outside cornerback, nickel or safety, he has done it all.

“You have to differentiate yourself and I feel like I can do that,” Bagley said. “I’m very versatile, I’ve excelled in all defensive back positions and I intend to do that as well in the NFL.”

Bagley finished his career at Central with 151 total tackles, one forced fumble, six interceptions and 35 pass breakups.

As a returner, he had 1,204 kick return yards (1 TD) and 161 punt return yards (1 TD).

Throughout his collegiate career, Bagey earned multiple conference awards such as All-NEC Defensive First Team for his play on the field and NEC Academic Honor Roll for his work in the classroom in 2017.

To add to his versatility, he also brings the presence and leadership of a captain as well as special teams value.

This whole process has been a challenge for Bagley, however. He said that patience is key during this time.

“It’s had its ups and downs,” Bagley said. “This is a process where you don’t see the results right away so you have to work hard and be consistent.”

One reason why this has been a challenge for him is due to the fact that he still has to attend classes and earn his degree on top of training every day at Break Out Athlete training facility in North Branford, Connecticut. Getting his Marketing Degree is important to Bagley, no matter how challenging it may be at the moment.

“Bigger schools have enough money to work it out where you don’t have to take classes while training,” Bagley said. “That’s the disadvantage I have right now, I know a lot of people who are just focused on football right now. It’s definitely a challenge but I feel like it’ll make it all worth it in the long run, being the underdog.”

Coming from a Division I, Football Championship Subdivision school in Central Connecticut, Bagley is already an underdog. However, he is confident and knows he just needs a chance.

“All I need is an opportunity and I’ll do the rest after that,” Bagley said. “Realistically, I have a lot to improve on just like anyone else going into the NFL. Initially, I’d definitely like to be behind someone I can learn from but I don’t plan on staying behind anybody. I’m big on trial and error, I’d rather learn myself on the field.”

Bagley’s confidence comes from the fact that he practiced against an NFL quarterback, Jake Dolegala, for three years and a potential pro quarterback this year against Aaron Winchester.

“He was a 6 foot 7 inch, 240-pound kid who had a cannon and was very smart,” Bagley said about Dolegala. “Practicing against him was the easy part so it made my life easier in games. He gave me a lot of confidence.”

“[Tajik] is very, very tough and very versatile,” Winchester said. “I think his versatility and his willingness to do all that stuff is going to separate him.”

If the NFL does not pan out for Bagley, he still has his goals set for what he wants to accomplish in his life, NFL or not. One day, he could become an agent for guys similar to himself. He also wants to open a training facility for troubled youth where he grew up. Bagley described that as his “number one plan.”

“I would love to mentor kids who come from the same background [as me],” Bagley said.

Whether it’s on an NFL field or not, Bagley is determined to make a difference one way or another through his toughness, leadership and determination. Everyone should be excited for what comes next with Bagley.