Uploaded: Tuesday, November 6, 2012, 2:31 PM
Hogan gets the chance to be Cardinal hero
|By Rick Eymer
Palo Alto Online Sports
Kevin Hogan came out of Monday's meeting with Stanford football coach David Shaw no different than went he went in, with one slight adjustment. Hogan was told he would be the starting quarterback when the 16th-ranked Cardinal hosts No. 13 Oregon State at noon Saturday.
"Anything I can do to help the team," Hogan said during Tuesday's regular football press conference. "I have to stay focused. I've prepared each week like I was going to play regardless if I do or not."
Hogan said the only people he told were his parents, and he just barely cracked a smile when saying so. It doesn't seem like anything gets him excited.
"He's a great quarterback," Stanford senior receiver Jamal-Rashad Patterson said. "He never got too excited and he never got down. He's just so cool, like the most interesting man in the world."
Hogan took over from Josh Nunes in Stanford's 48-0 victory over host Colorado, leading the Cardinal (5-1, 7-2) on six successive scoring drives.
"It's culminated in the last two weeks," Shaw said. "He has shown a lot of promise, which is why he began to play. Athletically he gives us something special, and he's showed he can handle the running game."
Hogan finished 18 of 23 with two touchdowns and 184 yards against the Buffaloes. He also rushed for 48 yards. Nunes was 3 of 5 for 23 yards and Brett Nottingham also played, going 3 of 5 for 16 yards.
"It was very difficult," Shaw said of the decision. "We owe great thanks to Josh Nunes. At the time he was the only quarterback who handle the offense. We don't win the USC game without Josh. This is not about Josh, it has to do with Kevin. He gives us an added dimension as a runner, a rare thing."
To date, Nunes has thrown for 1,643 yards and 10 touchdowns. He's completed nearly 53 percent of his passes (124 of 235) while throwing seven interceptions. He's also rushed for 112 yards and three scores.
"We have switched starters at other positions but the quarterback just gets more attention," Shaw said. "He was ready. Kevin has put some things on film that are tough to prepare for. Here's a guy, athletically, who can get an offense out of trouble."
Nunes took the news of his demotion calmly, Shaw said.
"He understood," Shaw said. "He's a competitor and I told him the competition has not stopped."
Nunes and Hogan remain close.
"He's been nothing but the most supportive teammate," Hogan said of Nunes. "He's a great friend and a great teammate."
Hogan never planned to visit Stanford while at Gonzaga Prep in Washington D.C. He was recruited by Stanford offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton.
"My parents told me it was good school and I should at least visit," said Hogan, who had gained interest from Virginia and Vanderbilt, among others. "When I saw Stanford, I was convinced that's where I wanted to go. I committed before Andrew Luck said he was going to return to school. When he did say so, I was happy."
Hamilton, who has ties to the D.C./Maryland area, said Hogan displayed great physical tools, had a high GPA and high test scores.
Once Shaw saw him on film, it was easy enough to go after him.
"It seemed like it rained every week and he played in the mud," Shaw said. "He never missed a cut, never slipped. He's a mudder."
"I got to see every kind of football weather," Hogan said. "It's fun. When it rains here, it's nothing."
Hogan said the Toby Gerhart era was the first time he became aware of Stanford.
"I loved the offense they ran," he said. "It was a hard-nosed, run-the-ball down your throat offense. That's when I started thinking a little more about it."
Now he may be a role model for another high school quarterback thinking about the Cardinal.
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