Sports

Former Hawk Chris Hogan’s NFL Journey

Chris HoganNew York Jets wide receiver, Super Bowl champion, and Monmouth alum, Chris Hogan, is back in New Jersey following his signing with the New York Jets this past summer.

Hogan has not had the normal National Football League journey. Some might even say that it is an unheard of path.

Hogan grew up in Wyckoff, New Jersey and attended Ramapo High School as a standout athlete in both football and lacrosse. Looking to go to a big school, he fell in love with Penn State and took an opportunity to play lacrosse there that he “couldn’t pass up.”

Choosing lacrosse over football was “a pretty tough decision,” said Hogan. The former Nittany Lion enjoyed his time at the school but said, “Throughout the course of my four years, it never really left me whether or not I wanted to play football in college.”

Hogan decided to play football in his one year of eligibility that he had left.  He said, “I knew for myself, personally, if I didn’t try to play football, I would’ve regretted it.”

He received guidance from his high school coach, Drew Gibbs, and soon Monmouth was eager to welcome him for his fifth year. “Monmouth was such an enticing option for me because it was so close to home,” said Hogan. “The coaches worked with me and the school worked with me to figure out the transfer year and everything ended up working out.”

Hogan stated how thankful he was for the Monmouth coaches who helped him live out “that dream of mine to play college football in the year of eligibility that I had.”

Reflecting on his time at Monmouth, Hogan said, “My overall experience at Monmouth was great. It was fun for me to live that small school experience. It was different but I really enjoyed it a lot.”

Like many Monmouth students and alum, Hogan developed a love for Brennan’s, where he ate “all the time” and Jack’s, where he would go with his teammates to watch football games and eat wings. “It was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed all of the things that Monmouth had to offer.”

After Monmouth, in 2011, Hogan was an undrafted free agent and was soon signed to the San Francisco 49ers practice squad. Hogan spoke about that experience, saying, “Once I got there, I knew I could play and I just needed an opportunity.”

After time with the Niners, Hogan played on the practice squads of the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins. He then went to the practice squad of the Buffalo Bills where he eventually made their active roster.

In 2016, Hogan signed with the New England Patriots. He won two Super Bowls with the team, saying, “I was so fortunate to be on that team. It’s something that I won’t forget for the rest of my life.”

Hogan signed with the Jets after spending time with the Carolina Panthers. The wide receiver spoke on his time with the Jets so far and being close to his wife and kids who he is usually apart from during the season. “It’s been good. Obviously, there’s no fans allowed but it’s nice for me to be back home and close to my family.”

Talking about the beginning of his career, Hogan said, “When you tell someone that you haven’t really played any college football, and you’re gonna try and make it to the NFL, they kind of look at you like you’ve got ten heads.”

He derived all motivation from his family, saying, “They all believed in what I was doing and never really second guessed it.”

Hogan is currently out with an ankle injury but is set to return soon. The Jets face the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday, Nov. 1 at 1:00 p.m. 

IMAGE TAKEN from USA Today