When Kevin Hogan took over as the starting quarterback for the Stanford Cardinal, not many knew who he was. It didn’t take long for them to understand why the freshman was handed the reins, though.
Heading into his sophomore season, Hogan has the entire college football world abuzz about the type of impact that he could have during his career with the Cardinal. Especially at a school known for producing big-name quarterbacks, it’s no surprise that a freshman campaign as impressive as his has garnered national attention and given fans a reason to be excited about his future.
After taking over midway through the 2012 season, Hogan made an instant impact for the Stanford offense. In six games (five starts), the freshman signal-caller amassed 1,096 passing yards, nine touchdowns and only three interceptions while completing 71.7 percent of his passes. His impressive instincts, passing abilities and decision making helped him finish the season with a respectable 147.9 passer rating. To top it all off, Hogan also made a significant impact on the ground, racking up 263 rushing yards to finish second on the team.
What really helped Hogan solidify himself as the Stanford starter, though, was the leadership that he showed when lifting the Cardinal to a 17-14 overtime victory against the then-No. 1 Oregon Ducks on the road. Hogan completed 69.4 percent of his passes that game for 211 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also added another six points on the ground, making him the only Stanford player to score against the Ducks on the day.
As of right now, there’s no telling just how good Hogan can be. The Virginia native only has six games under his belt, yet is already drawing comparisons to former Cardinal greats Andrew Luck and John Elway. It’s a bit premature to connect those dots, but the potential is definitely there.
In his freshman year, Hogan beat an undefeated Ducks team, knocked off the UCLA Bruins two weeks in a row, carried Stanford to a PAC-12 title, and helped secure a Rose Bowl victory for the Cardinal. If that list of accomplishments is any precursor to how Hogan’s entire college career will play out, Stanford may just have their next elite passer already on their hands.
Luck was the face of the Cardinal football team from 2009-2011 and became an NFL phenomenon because of it. If Hogan builds on his 2012 performance and continues to grow, he could be the next Stanford quarterback turned No. 1 overall pick.