"You just coach them all, push them all and see what happens," Shaw said. "I think you get in trouble as a coach when you hope and wish for things to happen. I think you have to push them all and evaluate what happens. And when the guys do what you want them to do, you reward them with more playing time."
That approach has ushered in the Hogan Era.
The 6-foot-4, 224-pound Hogan's speed and athleticism gives the Cardinal a dimension they haven't had since, well, utilizing Luck's mobility in his first two seasons before protecting the eventual No. 1 pick with more plays from the pocket. Hogan grew up in McLean, Va., and ran often in a spread-style offense at Gonzaga College High School in Washington, where running into Congressional leaders and Senators — some whose children attended the school — occurred frequently
"It was a pretty cool experience," Hogan said.
Stanford offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton discovered Hogan during one of his East Coast recruiting trips. Hamilton came back to Shaw, then an assistant under Jim Harbaugh, and told him there was a quarterback "we've got to take a look at. He's got great physical tools, he's a tough kid and he's a very, very bright kid with a high GPA and high test score."
"All things we like to hear," Shaw said.
What piqued the interests of Stanford's staff more than anything was that Hogan played most of his final year in rainy games with sloppy fields, though the weather "never bothered him," Shaw said. He called Hogan a "mudder" for the way he played through the muck with such ease.
Convincing Hogan to attend Stanford proved more difficult.
Hogan had never been to the quant Silicon Valley campus. He cheered for the Redskins as a kid though he'd attend Virginia or Vanderbilt to stay closer to home. At the urging of his parents, Jerry and Donna, he took a trip to Stanford to explore all of his options.
"I came out and within an hour I was convinced that this was the place I wanted to be," Hogan said. "The academics, the athletics, there's no comparison in the country. And the relationship with the coaches, it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up."
Hogan committed to Stanford just before Luck announced in January 2011 that he would return for his redshirt junior season. Hogan said, if anything, Luck's return made him want to be at Stanford more.
Hogan credits Luck for teaching him how to prepare and study defenses, to use his mind more than his arm to breakdown coverages. After a year and eight games, Hogan will finally have that chance to put all that work into action for a full game.
"I was a pretty late commit as far as quarterback go," Hogan said. "Thank God I waited."
Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP
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