Sports

Chris Hogan pursuing pro lacrosse amid NFL career

Chris Hogan isn’t going to start measuring himself against Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson.

Like those legends, though, Hogan is adding a second professional sport to his résumé: He joined the Premier Lacrosse League’s upcoming entry draft. But that doesn’t necessarily mean his five games with the Jets in 2020 put a bow on one of NFL’s great underdog careers after 10 seasons.

“No, certainly not retired,” Hogan told The Post. “I don’t know what the future holds for me in football. As a free agent, some of that stuff is out of your hands. I’m not going to waste time stressing over something I can’t control. What I can control is my training and the work that I put in to be the lacrosse player Chris Hogan.”

Hogan was a lacrosse captain and first-team all-conference player at Penn State before he transferred to Monmouth to play one year of football. The New Jersey native went undrafted and was cut by the 49ers, Giants, and Dolphins before debuting with the Bills, peaking during three straight Super Bowl runs with the 2016-18 Patriots, and totaling 216 catches for 2,795 yards and 18 touchdowns over 100 regular-season games.

Now the 32-year-old wide receiver is shaking off a decade of lacrosse rust and training to compete against opponents with more experience or younger legs. Or both.

Chris Hogan played lacrosse during his Penn State days.
Chris Hogan played lacrosse during his Penn State days.
Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics/Mark Selders.

“It’s something I’m doing because I love the sport. It’s not that I’ve fallen out of love with football. That’s far from the truth,” Hogan said. “I have to go in there and prove myself. I’m not expecting anything to be given to me. I have to earn a spot, just like I did in football.”

The Premier Lacrosse League debuted in 2019 after a merger with the established Major League Lacrosse. The entire eight-team outdoors league travels to different cities over long weekends to combine professional games, instructional camps and vendors — and grow the popularity of the sport.

“The running, physicality, cutting and hand-eye coordination, I can jump on a field and compete,” Hogan said. “But the game has changed. It’s much, much faster. The guys playing, their skill level is far and beyond when I played in college, but it’s something I’m looking forward to.”

Whereas Sanders and Jackson seamlessly hopped between football and baseball stardom, Hogan is an underdog again. Just how he likes it.

“It was an idea that I had thought about for capping off my career, going back to lacrosse,” Hogan said. “To be able to play two professional sports, not many people have done that. It was such a unique opportunity for me to accomplish as a competitor. Knowing what goes into it and how taxing it is on your body and mind, to be able to excel the way they did it is amazing.”

Hogan joked that one of the reasons to make the change is to give his wife — a private-practice doctor in New York — a break from watching him “get crushed every Sunday.” There’s much more to it, of course.

“There’s a huge part of me that wants to try to grow this game,” Hogan said. “I want the exposure that this can grab and give to lacrosse. I look forward to the day lacrosse is on TV every weekend during their season and thousands of people are tuning in and going to games. That’s where it’s trending.”

chris hogan helped the patriots to a super bowl title
Chris Hogan won a pair of Super Bowls with the Patriots.
Getty Images

Hogan narrowed his last NFL free-agent search to the hometown Jets in order to allow his wife to join the hospital frontlines during the pandemic.

“We’re a very clean house,” Hogan said. “Everyone here is washing their hands multiple times a day. We’re trying to stay safe and do our best. She has a career she is just beginning and really excited about, and I’m proud of what she’s been able to accomplish.”

And he’s beginning anew, too.

“From where I started to where I’ve ended up — a 10-year career and a couple of Super Bowls when my first goal was to make a practice squad — it’s something one day I’ll be able to look back on and maybe give myself a pat on the back,” Hogan said. “But right now I’m devoting all my time and effort to the PLL.”


Source link

About the author

Avatar

admin

H.BUSH founded Open Your Times with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific viewpoint for each story catered by the team. He is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the business industry, H.BUSH also contributes her knowledge to the business section of the website.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment