Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Hard work pays off for Hogan

The crunching sound of pads on pads never sounded so sweet.

Wisconsin special teamer and backup linebacker Casey Hogan, after an injury-riddled few seasons, has finally been able to step onto the field and remain there.

“Not being out there and wanting to be out there so much was my main hunger,” the fifth-year senior Hogan said about the 2006 season. “[It] really motivated to get back out there.”


Following a 2005 season that was marred by leg injuries, Hogan was primed to assume a larger role for the Badgers in 2006. But he suffered a broken leg in a summer softball league game, and his promising shot at seeing the field ended in an instant.

“To have it happen three days before you’re about to go play the game you love (the start of fall camp) is a real disappointment to me,” Hogan said.

Coming off a season that offered so much but resulted in so little, Hogan has been able to solidify a role on special teams, recording seven tackles in six games.

Not once during the recovery process did Hogan allow his series of injuries stop him from putting in the extra effort to get back into football shape for the 2007 season — his last year of eligibility.

“I may be a little bit slower because of my leg,” Hogan said. “But I knew it was my last season, so I really wanted to be in good shape. I put in all the time and effort [in the off season] with my conditioning and watched films to get ready mentally and physically.”

“Coming through all of his injuries just shows a test of his character and his will,” backup cornerback and fellow special teamer Ben Strickland added.

Having to work hard to earn his spot on the team is nothing new for Hogan, who came in from Middleton High School as a raw wide receiver and defensive back.

“When I was recruited to come in, I was a little undersized for my height,” said Hogan.

The UW coaching staff thought if Hogan got a little more meat on his bones, he’d be best fit to play linebacker. Lucky enough for Hogan, he did add onto his wiry frame and made the position switch prior to his sophomore year.

Now that Hogan has been able to remain on the field for an extended period of time, he and teammates Jaevery McFadden and fellow fifth-year senior Strickland have found a home as the unsung contributors on special teams.

Return man David Gilreath may break big runs, but it is players like Hogan helping to set up the blocks upfield.

“Casey has been a guy who has proven himself on special teams,” Strickland said. “He came out big in the Penn State game, and even when we were down continued to smack guys around. He just goes to show that he’s here to play, and a lot of guys recognize that.”

Plus, as a fifth-year senior, Hogan has the knowledge and experience to fully understand the game and appreciate each moment, especially since injuries have minimized his playing time.

“That’s why we play football,” said Hogan. “It’s a fun game for us.”

But this fun and energy isn’t limited to game time, as “each moment” applies to practice as well.

“I’m a firm believer in what you do in practice you do in the game,” McFadden said. “We try and get hyped. Play with emotion, have fun and play the game how we know how to play it.”

As an underclassman, McFadden has found himself listening to the advice of the upperclassmen on the team, including Hogan.

“Casey and I are very close friends; we talk a lot,” McFadden said. “As far as linebackers, we try and look out for each other’s back. He tells me what I did wrong and how to fix it.”

On the field, Hogan is able to take his skills as a leader and show what he has to offer the Badgers’ special teams.

While his collegiate career is quickly coming to an end, Hogan plans to stay in football or move to some other sport after he graduates ?

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