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“The Watchers” is a film adaptation of the 2022 book of the same name by A.M. Shine.
Review: “The Watchers”
Published June 13, 2024

Old teammates meet up at TCF

Ra’Shede Hageman and MarQueis Gray played against each other on Sunday.

MarQueis Gray and Ra’Shede Hageman were both back at TCF Bank Stadium playing football on Sunday.

This time, though, neither of the two donned the esteemed maroon and gold of their alma mater, despite playing in their former home stadium.

In front of 52,173 fans, the two Gophers football alums — now NFL players — went head-to-head for the first time, as Hageman and the Falcons were in town for a matchup with the Vikings.

Hageman and Gray were teammates at Minnesota from 2009-12. Gray, who played quarterback for the Gophers, is now a tight end.

Gray graduated in 2012 and went undrafted, but the Cleveland Browns signed him in 2013. He returned to Minnesota this preseason after the Browns cut him.

The Falcons drafted Hageman in the second round of April’s NFL Draft.

Gray said he and Hageman had discussed playing at TCF Bank Stadium even before the teams had finalized the season’s schedules.

“We’ve been talking about this moment, even before we found out we were playing each other,” Gray said. “Ever since then, when we text, we’ve been throwing in some trash talk.”

With an injury to Kyle Rudolph, the Vikings’ starting tight end, Gray saw more playing time against the Falcons. He did not have any targets during the game.

Hageman saw most of his time on the special teams unit, specifically on the field goal block. After all, he did block two kicks for the Gophers as a senior last season.

After the game Sunday, Gray said that Hageman did attempt to hit him during a play.

“He actually tried to kill me once on kickoff,” Gray said. “[Hageman] tried to hit me, but I was too shifty for him, so he missed me.”

Hageman declined comment for this story.

After the game, Gray and Hageman met at midfield to share their praises and catch up for a bit.

“We sent each other our best wishes, made sure [each] finishes the season strong and healthy, and we just said good luck, hug it up, shook it up and took a picture,” Gray said.

Gray said he even offered some advice to the Vikings’ offensive line on Hageman’s tendencies.

“I gave the offensive line a couple hints about him because I played against him and knew a couple weaknesses,” he said. “I told them to get in his head a little bit, but I see that he’s matured a lot, so it didn’t work for us today.”

Still, Gray said he was happy to see another college teammate playing professionally.

 “It’s great to see another Gopher in the NFL,” Gray said.

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