Former Monmouth University wide receiver/defensive back Chris Hogan will be the first Hawks player to compete in a Super Bowl after setting the New England Patriots' franchise record for postseason receiving yards in Sunday’s AFC Championship game.
Hogan, who played his only season of collegiate football for Monmouth in 2010, finished with nine receptions for 180 yards and two touchdowns in New England’s 36-17 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Ramapo, N.J., native caught passes of 22, 24, 26 and 39 yards in the win, also hauling in a pair of touchdowns (16 and 34 yards). Hogan caught 180 of quarterback Tom Brady’s 384 passing yards and two of three TDs.
The sixth-year NFL pro played three seasons of lacrosse at Penn State before transferring to Monmouth to pursue his graduate degree and play football. He came in as a wide receiver but was pressed into duty as a defensive back after injuries decimated the cornerback position.
He emerged as a big play threat for the Hawks, scoring three touchdowns on his 12 catches, including a 17 yard TD reception on his first collegiate catch. With his wide receiver playing time cut due to increased reps at corner, Hogan continued to make an impact on the defensive side of the ball finishing with three interceptions and 28 tackles.
He signed a three-year, $12 million deal with the Patriots with the Patriots prior to this season after starting his NFL career as an unsigned free agent with the San Francisco 49ers. He also played with the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins before emerging as a legitimate NFL target with the Buffalo Bills from 2012-2015. Hogan is not the first Hawks player to set an NFL franchise record as recent Monmouth Athletics Hall of Fame Inductee Miles Austin III set the Dallas Cowboys receiving record in a 2009 game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The 10-year NFL vet had a 10-catch 250-yard day, capping the effort with a 60 yard touchdown in overtime to earn the win.
With the Miami Dolphins in 2012, Hogan was featured prominently on HBO's Hard Knocks. Teammate Reggie Bush nicknamed him "7-Eleven" because he was always open.
Hogan is one of three current Hawks in the NFL joined by tight ends Neal Sterling (Jacksonville Jaguars) and Hakeem Valles (Arizona Cardinals). Hogan and the Patriots will face the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XLI on Feb. 5 in Houston. It will be the seventh Super Bowl for head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.
Meanwhile, Hogan announced on Instagram earlier this month new additions to his family. He and Ashley Boccio are expecting twins, according to an Instagram post he put online two weeks ago.
Contributing: Mike Bambach