Before a storied nine-year NFL career, Chris Hogan was first a midfielder in the Penn State program.
The former Nittany Lion announced in early February that he is making his return to lacrosse in the Premier Lacrosse League after spending the 2020 NFL campaign with the New York Jets.
Hogan is well-known for his two Super Bowl wins with the New England Patriots and has 2,795 career receiving yards and 18 receiving touchdowns on the professional level.
But at Penn State, Hogan was not a football player — instead a Nittany Lion for then-head coach Glenn Thiel.
Hogan was a 6-foot-3 midfielder coming out of Ramapo High School in New Jersey and was recruited by Thiel before spending four seasons with the blue and white.
Hogan’s best aspect of his game was the athleticism that he displayed throughout his NFL career. In terms of lacrosse, his natural athletic ability helped him get up and down the field quickly, an important trait for any midfielder.
In his freshman season, Hogan played all of Penn State’s 13 games. In the baker’s dozen worth of contests, the youngster was fourth on the team with 11 goals, and he still managed to finish sixth on the team in points despite not recording an assist on the year.
Hogan posted a solid shot percentage at .574 in his freshman campaign.
His first season was a small preview of what was to come for him at Penn State.
The former NFL player's career with the blue and white was put on hold in year two when he suffered an injury that allowed him to play only three games. Before the injury, Hogan managed to score three goals in the three contests he suited up for.
With almost a year off from lacrosse due to that injury, Hogan was set for a big second half of his career at Penn State.
Hogan’s junior year is where he started to shine as one of the Nittany Lions’ key players.
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After Penn State's Feb. 20 loss to Rutgers, the Nittany Lions have stumbled out of the top 10.
In his third year with Penn State, he led the blue and white with 34 points on 29 goals and five assists. After missing nearly a whole season the year prior, Hogan played all 14 games in 2009.
That year, a common occurrence for Hogan was getting into penalty trouble. Not only did Hogan lead Penn State in scoring, but he also led the team in penalties with 10. Hogan’s physicality on the field was foreshadowing his career in the NFL.
With Hogan leading the charge, the blue and white capped off the 2009 season with a 9-5 record.
Hogan's strong showing during the 2009 campaign secured himself a spot on the All-ECAC First Team at the midfield spot.
His junior year also caught the eyes of his teammates. In 2010, Hogan was named a captain along with Joe Britt and Brian Shea. However, the team played below expectations, finishing the season 2-11 in the year before the hiring of current coach Jeff Tambroni.
Even with the losing record, Hogan managed to make the All-CAA Second Team to finish off his lacrosse career at Penn State.
After his time in Happy Valley, he transferred to Monmouth University to play football as a grad transfer.
The Hawks wide receiver and defensive back finished with 147 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns in his lone season with the Monmouth program.
Then, Hogan entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent before embarking on a pro football career that saw him play for four teams in nine seasons.
Hogan's time as a Nittany Lion came with hiccups, but at the end of the day, he showed why he can be successful at both lacrosse and football. If his professional lacrosse career is anything like his collegiate one, Hogan will be a must-watch player when he takes the field this summer.