Former Monmouth wide receiver Chris Hogan set the record for most receiving yards in a postseason game in New England Patriots history in the American Football Conference (AFC) Championship Game on Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Hogan, who played one season of football as a graduate student for the blue and white in 2010 after playing three seasons of lacrosse at Penn State, caught nine passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns in New England’s 36-17 victory. He will become the first former Hawk to play in a Super Bowl when the Patriots play the Atlanta Falcons on Feb. 5 in Houston, Texas.
“We are very happy for Chris and all that he has accomplished,” Monmouth Head Coach Kevin Callahan said. “Although his time a Monmouth was limited, it was very clear that he was highly motivated to achieve big things. He is an outstanding athlete, as well as a tough, dedicated competitor.”
Hogan has spent six seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He was picked up by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent in 2011 and spent a few weeks on their practice squad before moving on to the practice squads of the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins that same season. He signed onto the practice squad of the Buffalo Bills in 2012 and cracked their 53-man roster later that season. Hogan had his breakthrough season in 2014, when he caught 41 passes for 426 yards and four touchdowns.
On Sunday Hogan spoke to press after his team’s win against the Steelers. He said, “I’m just happy to take advantage of this opportunity, you know, to be a part of this team. This whole team has worked so hard starting in April in OTAs (Organized Team Activities). We’ve grinded throughout this entire year, this is what we worked for and this is what we wanted to get to. It’s a special moment for all of these guys in this locker room. We’ll enjoy this and get back to work, because we’ve got one more.”
“It’s been a long journey, but I’ve worked really hard to get to this point and I just couldn’t be happier that I get to be a part of this team, this whole thing,” Hogan added.
The Ramapo native played with the Bills through 2015 and signed a three-year contract as a free agent with the New England Patriots for $12 million, with $7.5 million guaranteed, prior to the 2016 season. In his first season working with future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady, Hogan hauled in 38 passes for a career high 680 yards and four scores.
He surpassed the 100-yard mark twice in the regular season: week five against the Cleveland Browns (four catches, 114 yards) and week 14 against the Baltimore Ravens (five catches, 129 yards, and a touchdown). New England finished the season with a 14-2 record and secured the number one seed in the AFC.
In the Divisional Round of the postseason against the Houston Texans, Hogan had four receptions for 95 yards.
Hogan is one of three current former Hawks in the NFL along with tight ends Neal Sterling (Jacksonville Jaguars) and Hakeem Valles (Arizona Cardinals).
IMAGE TAKEN from http://media.pennlive.com/pennstatefootball/chrishogan