Former Bills WR Starts His Career in a New Sport

Chris Hogan

Getty Chris Hogan celebrates after catching a pass against the New England Patriots.

After a nine-year NFL career, former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Chris Hogan is returning to his athletic roots.

Hogan, who was a star lacrosse player in high school and at Penn State before making the jump to football, is starting the second act of his athletic career after signing with a Premier Lacrosse League team. He had announced last month that he was entering the draft, excited to start a new career at the age of 33.

“As many of you know, my roots are in lacrosse, and I’m excited to fight for a roster spot with the best in the world!” Hogan wrote on Twitter.

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Hogan Starts Career in Familiar Way

With his football days apparently behind him, Hogan will have a familiar start to his lacrosse career. As ESPN noted, Hogan had initially declared himself eligible for the PLL draft at the end of March, but was not picked. This week, the Cannons Lacrosse Club announced that it had signed Hogan as an undrafted free agent, just as the Bills did in 2011 after he was not selected in the NFL Draft that year.

Hogan was a decorated college lacrosse player, serving as captain at Penn State and leading the team with 29 goals his junior season. He earned all-ECAC honors that year, with his coach saying he was potentially the best midfielder in Division I.

As ESPN noted, Hogan already has connections to the league, investing in the PLL back in 2018. The league underwent a merger with Major League Lacrosse to create an eight-team league.


Hogan Planned Return to Lacrosse

Hogan was never far from lacrosse, even during his nine years in the NFL. As Boston.com noted, he kept a lacrosse stick in his locker while he played and in his “Monday Night Football” appearances introduced himself as a Penn State lacrosse player.

Hogan told Boston.com that his return to lacrosse was planned for a long time.

“I always had a vision of going back to lacrosse in some way, shape, or form,” Hogan said. “I had talked to the PLL about potentially making this a reality. It wasn’t something that just happened overnight. I’ve been talking about it for a little while, and I think it just made sense.”

But he came to the sport almost by accident. As the report noted, Hogan was a standout baseball player in his younger years but threw out his arm as an eighth-grader and was in too much pain to continue. His father suggested that he try lacrosse, and Chris was a natural fit.

“His athletic ability was so natural that anything he touched he quickly dominated,” Jim Hogan told Boston.com.

Though he had just picked up the sport, Hogan was already able to make his high school’s varsity team as a sophomore and was the top scorer as a junior. By his senior year, Hogan helped lead the team to the first state championship in program history, earning honors as the 2006 New Jersey Midfielder of the Year and an Under Armour All-American.

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