Gophers fans will get to watch Ra'Shede Hageman on HBO's Hard Knocks
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Ra'Shede Hageman won't return to TCF Bank Stadium until Sept. 28 for the Atlanta Falcons matchup against the Minnesota Vikings.
Until then, Gophers fans will get to see the former U of M defensive lineman on HBO's Hard Knocks as the Falcons, who drafted Hageman 37th overall in May, volunteered for the NFL's reality show.
The show will debut on Aug. 5 and typically follows major storylines during a team's training camp, which for the Falcons could include their top two picks in tackle Jake Matthews and Hageman. The Falcons are also trying to turn around a 4-12 campaign from last season after making the playoffs in 2012.
Since Atlanta has a playoff appearance in the past two seasons, they could've said no to the show, but volunteered instead. Eight NFL teams could've been forced into doing the show as they didn't fall under the three criteria for exemption: (1) new head coach, (2) playoff appearance in past two seasons or (3) a Hard Knocks appearance in past 10 seasons.
Hageman has a legitimate chance at battling for playing time during training camp. The Falcons boast a defensive line of veterans Osi Umenyiora and Jonathan Babineaux, but had the second-fewest sacks (32) as a team in the NFL last season.
Other names that Minnesota sports fans will be familiar with in Atlanta: Former Chicago Bears return man Devin Hester and former Vikings coach Mike Tice.