Updated: 08/07/2014 11:28 PM
Created: 08/07/2014 11:19 PM WHEC.com
By: Stephen Bond
Here is a formula to becoming a NFL player: Go to a big time Division I school, become an all-American, play in a BCS bowl game and then hire a big time agent. Odds are you will be in New York City wearing an expensive suit, hugging the commissioner, as your name is called.
Then there is the way the Bills wide receiver Chris Hogan did it. Before Chris Hogan caught passes, he caught passes. The Bills wide receiver took an unusual route to the National Football League.
Hogan said, “I started out at Penn State, played four years of lacrosse, had an extra year of eligibility, decided I wanted to go play football at Monmouth.”
Hogan grew up playing both sports. Lacrosse presented opportunities in college. But even during his Nittany Lion days, Hogan couldn't stop dreaming of the gridiron. With a year of eligibility in his pocket, Hogan put down the stick and strapped on a football helmet.
Hogan said, “I had always dreamed of walking on at Penn State and I never followed through with it. I had graduated, I was on time to graduate, so I just decided to graduate and take a shot at football and go to grad school.”
The Monmouth product’s stats didn't jump off the page, but during Hogan’s pro-day, his size and speed did.
Hogan said, “If nothing happened, that was it. At least I tried and I wouldn't have any regrets about it.”
After three journeyman years, Hogan is making a name for himself, although it's a name he's heard before.
Hogan said, “When I first got here, I think guys mostly knew me as 7-11 and not my first name.”
From hard knocks to Buffalo, the former New Jersey midfielder of the year hasn't forgotten his roots.
Hogan said, “You know football was always a sport I loved just as much as lacrosse. You know just being out here is such an awesome opportunity for me, coming from playing four years of lacrosse.”