Patriots Receiver Chris Hogan Already Tired Of Fielding Lacrosse Questions


FOXBORO, Mass. — Have you heard New England Patriots wide receiver Chris Hogan played lacrosse in college? If not, get ready to hear about it a lot.

Hogan was a breakout star in the divisional round and AFC Championship Game with 13 catches for 275 yards with two touchdowns, and as many begin to look into his past, his college lacrosse career has already become a prominent storyline of New England’s Super Bowl LI matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.

“So I’ve been told,” Hogan said Thursday.

Hogan played three years of lacrosse at Penn State and was named All-ECAC as a junior before he decided to transfer to Monmouth and use his final year of college sports eligibility playing football. He came into the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2011 and bounced around from the San Francisco 49ers to the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills before the Patriots acquired him as a restricted free agent this offseason.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, also a college lacrosse player, was asked this week how Hogan’s lacrosse skills translated to football.

“I don?t know about that,” Belichick said in a conference call Tuesday. “I?d say the one thing that Chris does well that maybe is related to lacrosse is just his conditioning. He?s in good condition. He runs a lot of deep routes, but he has real good stamina and he can keep going. That?s probably something that carried over there, but the skills are pretty different. That?d be a good question to ask (Patriots safeties coach) Steve (Belichick) and (coaching assistant) Mike Pellegrino since both of them covered him. They probably could give a better answer to that than I can. One of these days we?re going to have to see who can score on who.”

Hogan got the same question Thursday.

“Yeah, sure. There’s a lot of transition: hand-eye coordination, the physical aspect of the game,” Hogan said. “There’s tons of transition from lacrosse to football.”

Then as the next wave of reporters entered the scrum, he was asked again.

“I’m going to wear this on my shirt — the answer on my shirt,” Hogan said with a sigh. “I’m going to carry around a notecard.

“Lacrosse is a very physical sport for a lot of people that haven’t watched it. I just think being able to go 1-on-1 with some guys and being able to beat them running full speed. That transition from lacrosse to football was pretty easy.”

And he agrees with Belichick’s assessment that conditioning is a big part of lacrosse.

“I could run all day when I played lacrosse,” Hogan said. “That carried over when I played football. I played midfield, so I’d be running up and down the field. There’s rarely a stoppage in play when I played lacrosse. The conditioning aspect carrying over to football helped me tremendously.”

The Patriots chose to sign Hogan to a three-year, $12 million offer sheet this offseason rather than paying an unrestricted free agent like Mohamed Sanu, who signed with the Falcons, Marvin Jones, who latched on with the Detroit Lions or Rishard Matthews, who signed with the Tennessee Titans.

Hogan has 51 receptions for 955 yards with six touchdowns in 17 games split between the regular season and playoffs. He led the NFL with 17.9 yards per catch in the regular season. Sanu, who signed a five-year, $32.5 million contract with Atlanta, has caught 68 passes for 749 yards with six touchdowns in 17 games split between the regular season and playoffs.

Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images

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