Broomfield’s Bode Hogan searched for his place in football after losing out the quarterback competition to Cole LaCrue in 2020. What he found was a tricky proposition, an opportunity dangling on the other side of a nexus of trials.
No matter, “I really wanted to play,” he explained.
The senior’s transition from his longtime role of quarterback to his first stint on the defensive side of the ball this past fall wasn’t without its pain and uncertainty. When he landed the starting job at inside linebacker for the Eagles, it was proof he had persevered. When later recognized as one of the finest defenders in state, it was a validation in the wonderfully unthinkable.
Only recently has it all started to sink in for the newest BoCoPreps.com defensive player of the year.
“I am definitely surprised,” Hogan said, looking back on a year where he had totaled the second-most tackles per game in Class 4A and was later named his league’s defensive player of the year.
“I remember back in July going into team camp I had no idea that I would be right here, right now where I am, with all the accolades and recognition I’ve gotten,” he said before taking another moment to reflect. “I am definitely a little bit surprised.”
Hogan’s first attempt playing defense in high school was a marvelous venture. His play was among the best in the state, and the stats proved as much — he totaled 133 tackles (12.1 per game), had 5.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, a pick, and forced a fumble.
His leadership was harder to quantify, though his coaches would say invaluable. For where would the Eagles have been after their turbulent start to the season without Hogan at the heart of its defense? If he had wrung out his hopes of playing football and not plunged into so much uncertainty.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this kid,” said Broomfield coach Blair Hubbard, whose team turned around its season after a 1-4 start and won four of its last five in reaching the playoffs for a sixth straight season. “It’s probably the most amazing —” he stopped. “I’ve been coaching 25 years and for a kid to make a switch like he did, it’s amazing.”
Hogan’s trek to becoming a standout defender had started with a realization. With LaCrue, just a junior in 2021, at the helm of the offense — if he wanted to find the field with any sort of regularity in his senior year, it’d likely have to be elsewhere.
“Bode came to us at the end of the last season and said, ‘I want to be on the field. What can I do to get on the field? Where can I play?’,” Hubbard said. “And we were pretty thin at inside linebacker and said, ‘With your frame, if you can put on some weight and learn the linebacker position, we will definitely give you a shot at that.’”
In preparation, Hogan’s coaches convinced him to try out wrestling. Instead of standing tall in the pocket like Hogan was taught at quarterback, a defender must learn how to get down low and use his hips and legs to drive through an opponent. Wrestling could help with that.
Getting on the mat for the first time in his life didn’t come without its bruises. “I went out for wrestling and got my butt kicked,” Hogan said. “But it made me a lot better for the football season.”
His one-year showcase at linebacker has come with interest from colleges.
“The ceiling is very high for him,” Hubbard said. Adding, Hogan is known to saturate himself in game film while constantly texting with his coaches. “Asking them questions, looking for feedback, looking for things you should look for in the games coming up.”
It’s the work ethic of someone built for bigger things.
“I think he is going to get an opportunity somewhere and he is the type of kid that is going to run with it,” Hubbard said. “When someone invests in him, he is going to invest in them and he is going to give it everything that he’s got. That’s what he did for Broomfield football. He gave us everything that he had.”