Stanford QB Hogan could’ve been Irish

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When Notre Dame takes the field this weekend, the Irish will face a quarterback that grew up dreaming of playing in this game. Only Kevin Hogan always pictured himself calling the plays for the Fighting Irish.

Hogan, the junior quarterback for Stanford, took the reins of the Cardinal offense in late October last season, replacing Josh Nunes and leading Stanford to a Rose Bowl victory. But before he won the first eleven starts of his college career (he’s now 15-2), Hogan was a kid that spent countless weekends in Notre Dame Stadium.

Hogan’s father went to Notre Dame. So did his sister. So did a dozen cousins, aunts, uncles and his paternal grandfather. Uncles Coley O’Brien and Ivan Brown played football for the Irish.

As Hogan was establishing himself as one of the top players in Washington D.C. at Gonzaga Prep College High School (alma mater of current Irish freshman Devin Butler), Notre Dame came calling with then offensive coordinator Charley Molnar and Kerry Cooks handling the recruitment.

Check out this time capsule back to March of 2010, when Hogan was in the middle of his recruitment.

This from Pete Sampson over at Irish Illustrated ($):

“It’s pretty exciting for them to have Notre Dame talking to me and possibly wanting me to go there,” Hogan said. “I know everything about Notre Dame, it’s been my whole life.”

That doesn’t mean Notre Dame will automatically be part of Hogan’s future, although the Irish do have the quarterback’s attention. Hogan holds offers from Boston College, Virginia, Maryland and Rutgers. Florida, Duke and Pittsburgh have shown interest.

“I’m going to take all my visits to the schools that are recruiting me,” Hogan said, adding that he might not wait for the official visit calendar to kick in if he can see his schools of choice early. “I want to meet all the coaches and see how I fit in because it doesn’t matter who I rooted for as a kid, it matters what’s later on and what’s the best fit for me.”

Hogan went to the Irish’s junior day, but left without a scholarship offer, with the staff explaining that they were waiting on a few other options to play out before offering the Irish legacy.

Hogan didn’t end up waiting for an Irish offer, committing to Jim Harbaugh and then offensive coordinator David Shaw the summer before his senior season, after camping in Palo Alto with the Cardinal coaches.

That recruiting cycle saw the Irish nabbing a dual-threat player named Everett Golson, after Golson’s pledge got shaky after NCAA sanctions came down on Butch Davis’ program. He was the fourth quarterback signed in two cycles, with the Irish bringing in Andrew Hendrix, Tommy Rees and Luke Massa in the transitional class the Irish signed between Kelly and Charlie Weis.

So with the Irish facing a dangerous Stanford offense that features Hogan as its capable trigger man, it’s hard not to think what might have been.