Still Adjusting

When sophomore Brandon Hogan made the position switch to defense prior to the start of West Virginia's fall football camp, no one was more surprised than he was. The high school quarterback has a love for offense and wasn't pleased to be taken out of his comfort zone.

Hogan is still adjusting to his move to defensive back after playing as a backup receiver during his first year at WVU.

"Every play, every practice is a learning experience for him," defensive backs coach David Lockwood said. "He's taking it in stride. When he starts playing more and getting more reps and getting more game experience then everything will come. The thing that I was pleased with on Thursday was he went out there and he competed."

Hogan's performance against Colorado, which Coach Lockwood said was his best game to date, was the most time that the sophomore has seen at his new position. Hogan replaced Kent Richardson early in the game and remained on the field for the bulk of contest.

"I played all right (against Colorado)," Hogan evaluated. "I did everything that the coaches asked of me. I'm just trying to come back and show I have ability because I got torched in the ECU game. I was just trying to come out and look good and do what the coaches asked of me."

Hogan gave up a touchdown pass at the end of the first half against the Pirates on a play in which he was out jumped by a taller ECU receiver. That, and a few other technique and positioning mistakes, led Hogan to his tough evaluation of his play. However, after getting more work, the natural-born offensive player feels as though he is learning more, although he still has a laundry list of items to work on. "I need to work on getting my head [in position], and on reading and reacting with the ball. I feel like I'm pretty adjusted (with the defense)," Hogan said.

The former receiver was hoping to take on the quarterback position when he came to West Virginia -- a position he has never been able to play at due to the depth and talent WVU had at the spot. Combined with depth issues at other positions, and it quickly became clear Hogan was not going to get a chance at the helm of the offense.

"At first I didn't like the switch to defense because I've played offense my whole life. I was a high school quarterback. I never really got my chance to show that I could play the quarterback here. I wasn't really feeling going to the other side of the ball but once I got over there and I started getting reps and getting comfortable I started to like it," Hogan said.

Hogan has embraced the challenge of learning so many positions during his short career with the Mountaineers. Despite his move to defense, Hogan will continue his role on special teams as a punt returner.

"Coach said that they want to move me around. It's kind of been a challenge but it just shows that I have the ability to play anywhere on the field. I just want to make plays wherever," Hogan said of his position moves.

Wherever Hogan ends up on the field, it's obvious that he will be an asset to the Mountaineers. His ability to play on all sides of the ball is a skill that is not possessed by many players which gives Hogan the opportunity to do big things. He'll get that chance this week as he tries to help contain Marshall's Darius Passmore, who leads the nation in receiving yardage coming in to the contest.


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