Switches No Problem For Hogan

Many players might have a problem adjusting to a move from the limelight of quarterback to wide receiver, and then over to defense. However, Brandon Hogan appears to have no problem with the switch.

"I was willing to do whatever the team wanted me to do," Hogan said of his reaction when first asked by Mountaineer head coach Bill Stewart to give cornerback a try. "It did surprise me. Right when I got back [to fall camp] Coach Stewart asked me what I thought about playing corner. I didn't know it was coming. But I wasn't really shocked. It didn't bother me. Coach Stew told me he just wanted to get a look at me there. It's straight. I like it."

Moving from the potential spotlight of wide receiver, where touchdowns and cheers are the potential, to cornerback, where yielding a completion or a score holds the potential for criticism, can be a difficult adjustment. But Hogan, whose Virginia drawl fronts a laid back personality, apparently doesn't have a problem with it. Questions about moving back to the offense, or perhaps getting snaps on both sides of the ball, aren't met with any reaction that would indicate he's hoping to do so.

"I don't know if I might go back to receiver. We'll see. But I just want to play. I want to be on the field. I haven't thought abut playing both ways, but whatever the coaches want to do is fine."

Hogan's performance to date would seem to indicate that he's found a new home at corner.

"Brandon Hogan keeps showing up and showing up," Stewart said after Wednesday's practice. "He is going to be a player, and he really stepped up. He stepped up so well that there is no longer a question. That's why D.J. Thomas went to the slot today. I made that decision last night. He just keeps stepping up and showing up."

Hogan has made the transition to a difficult position quickly, and that's due both to a fast -paced tutorial from the coaching staff as well as to his own natural ability. He reacts to the ball well in the air, and also has great recovery speed.

"Going out at corner was different that going out at slot," he said of his first snaps at a position he had never played before. "But once I got a few reps it was all right. I played safety in high school, but I just did whatever I wanted. The things they are teaching me here are much different.

"The coaches have been bringing me along, on the field and in the meeting room. The GAs (graduate assistants) have been staying with me too. Coach Lockwood talks to me a lot in the meeting rooms and points out what I need to do. It hasn't been too hard to pick up, because I ask questions about what I don't know.

"I have kind of an advantage knowing some of the things receivers do," he continued. "But it doesn't help all that much, because I have to think about what I have to do, so I really can't try to get in their head. Making reads, I guess, is the hardest thing. Sometimes I forget what coverages I'm in, because I'm just concentrating on what I'm doing. At corner, you have to make a lot of reads, so that's the hardest part."

Hogan hasn't been getting any static from his former position mates on the offensive side of the ball, but he did have a meeting with his best friend on the practice field in team pass action.

"I haven't covered Jock Sanders yet, but I tackled him today, though," he said with a laugh. "I helped him up. That's my dog."

Give Hogan a few more weeks at the position, and he may be in the position to dog many of his opponents.


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