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2014 Training Camp Position Preview: S
During the month of August, LibertyFlames.com will preview each position on Liberty's football roster before the Flames open the season on the road at North Carolina on Aug. 30.
LibertyFlames.com continues its series today by looking at the Flames' safeties, a group that is anchored by returning All-America free safety Jacob Hagen.
Hagen had a breakout season in 2013, earning Associated Press FCS All-America honors (third team), as well as being selected All-Big South first team and VaSID all-state first team.
Hagen finished the 2013 season with a career-best 61 tackles (34 solo, 27 assisted), which nearly doubled his career total through his first two seasons with the Flames (76 tackles).
He led the Big South and ranked No. 9 in the country in interceptions per game (0.5). His six picks during his junior season were the most interceptions by a Flame since Richard Shelton, who played five years in the NFL, finished the 1987 season with a half-dozen interceptions for Liberty.
Hagen is the elder statesman of the group, followed by Gary Sampson, who played in all 12 games as a true freshman in 2013. Sampson finished the year with 17 tackles (eight solo, nine assisted).
Sampson or Stevenson University transfer Alpha Jalloh could start opposite Hagen at strong safety or. Two years ago, Jalloh had 19 stops for the Mustangs, including 16 solo tackles.
Behind Hagen is slated to be Avery "A.J." James, one of a handful of true freshman head coach Turner Gill is considering for playing time in 2014. Charles Williams will look to back up Sampson and Jalloh at strong safety, after playing in all 12 games in 2013.
LibertyFlames.com will continue its position previews on Saturday when the website takes a look at Liberty's entire special teams unit.
FS – Jacob Hagen, Sr., 6-3, 205
SS – Gary Sampson, So., 5-11, 190 or Alpha Jalloh, So., 6-1, 195
Avery "A.J." James, Fr., 6-0, 180
Charles Williams, So., 5-10, 190
Joshua Yoda, Sr., 6-0, 190
Cameron Jackson, Fr., 6-1, 185