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West Virginia's football offense is designed around the skills of the quarterback, so it's imperative that the Mountaineers get highly skilled players at that position. Osbourn High School head football coach Steve Schultze believes WVU has done just that with Brandon Hogan, who Schultze calls "the best skill player I've ever had the opportunity to coach."

"We designed our offense similar to what West Virginia does because of him," Schultze told "We are a spread offense just like they are. We use a little different blocking scheme – WVU is a zone blocking team while we are more of a down and kick block scheme, but our quarterback scheme is the same. I caught a WVU game last year, and we watch a lot of their film. We visited their campus four times, and learned a lot about what they do. I like what they do a great deal, and I will continue to use their tutelage. I think the game has changed, and the spread and what they do has trickled down to our level."

Schultze is riding the wave begun by Rodriguez and a handful of other coaches on the college level by spreading the field and putting the ball in the hands of a playmaker. That decision, while yielding wins for Schultze at Osbourn, also put Hogan on the path to West Virginia.

"He is a phenomenal athlete," said the coach, who changed his offensive philosophy to take advantage of Hogan's skills. "With the ball in his hands – that's where I like him. When he was a sophomore, we were a single wing team and he was the tailback and quarterback. Teams started putting eight or nine or even 10 guys in the box against him. So we opened it up with the spread, and had almost 4500 yards of offense last year. That made the difference."

Schultze also benefited from the excitement caused by the new scheme, as many of his players picked on up things college teams were doing.

"The kids would watch games and say, ‘Did you see Texas run our dart series, or WVU run this or that?' The kids just fell in love with the offense," Schultze noted.

Of course, much of the excitement was caused by Hogan, who makes the decisions and keys the offense at Osbourn just as Patrick White does at West Virginia.

"It's not surprising to me at all, because I see him every day," said Schultze of Hogan's success. "We do a lot of seven-on-seven – we play in a summer league and go to a lot of tournaments. His football IQ and playmaking ability are just phenomenal. His fundamentals are excellent, and he is just going to get better at the college level.

"He was recruited all across the region by some of the top schools in the country, but we felt like West Virginia was the best fit for him. We feel like he can compete at quarterback or wherever they feel he can help out."

Some high school coaches will push for a player at a certain position, but Schultze knows that Hogan might end up at spot other than quarterback. He believes that his rising senior star can make an impact at any number of spots on the field.

"If given the opportunity, he will earn a spot on the field somewhere," Schultze said. "[Brandon] said he was excited about the chance to play with Patrick White, so I don't think he will back down. Some of the systems of the teams that recruited him, Brandon didn't fit as a quarterback, so they talked about him playing at wide receiver or defensive back. He could play there, or as a running back and as a punt or kick returner too. I'm sure West Virginia will try to find a way to get him on the field – he is open to that and understands it, but they also told him he will get a chance to compete at quarterback. I think Coach Rodriguez and Coach Stewart will find a way to use him."

That openness, along with the chance to try QB, was a big factor in Hogan's decision to attend West Virginia. Another was the energy surrounding the program and coaching staff.

"I think what WVU is doing is getting ready for a national championship, and that is exciting," Schultze said. "They are bringing in good talent. The deciding factor was the coaching staff. He fell in love with them. All the schools had good facilities, but the deciding factors were the people and the system."

Showing vision beyond the immediate future, Hogan also looked at some other characteristics of the schools pursuing him as well.

"We talked a lot about the academic situation," Schultze related. "We looked at all the fields they have. Brandon is not sure what he wants to do, but he knows a football career can be a short one, and he wants to earn a degree and set himself for the future. He could be in a teaching, coaching or business field. The academic environment there is perfect for him.

"In the end, however, he really made the decision. He talked with me a lot, and with his grandmother, who is his legal guardian, but he was the one who made the final choice."

Now that Hogan's decision is done, he can concentrate on his senior year. Schultze, of course, is looking forward to another season of highlight reel exploits on the field, but believes that is just the start for him.

"He has NFL potential – I truly believe that," Schultze said. "After seeing type of athlete he is and his potential, I might be biased, but I think he has that. He'll gain 15-20 pounds of muscle in their strength program, and he is quicker than a cat. His vision on the field is better than a lot of kids he plays against."

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