Kentucky quarterback Deuce Hogan sees the football field as his platform on and off turf.
“I always tell people it’s a 100-yard stage,” said Hogan, who was named the No. 2 quarterback at the University of Kentucky behind starter Will Levis this week. “(I’m) using this platform to be able to speak to people on a really big scale and I think football can open doors there.”
Hogan, a sophomore transfer from Iowa, played prep football for his father, Kris Hogan, at Grapevine Faith Christian in Texas. His life is deeply rooted in his faith and knows football is secondary compared to his status as a believer.
“(My faith) is everything. I would walk away from football if I felt called to, if that was something that I felt like the Lord was pulling me to do,” he said. “My faith is everything and it’s the reason I do what I do. And I really do feel like this provides the biggest stage to make the biggest impact. And that’s why I’m doing it. I just know that I’m called to impact people. Right now, I think this is the biggest avenue.”
That avenue was paved by his parents, Kris and Amy Hogan, from childhood. Hogan credits his parents for their godly influence in his life.
“I was in a home with two parents that were madly in love, and they put Jesus first,” he said. “I was in church every Sunday, every Wednesday my whole life.
“Outside of the church we had people coming to my house to hear and get advice from my dad and my mom. My mom’s written books, [and] my dad’s traveled the country. My parents are everything and the foundation of my faith.”
Prior to leaving Iowa, Hogan didn’t take his future lightly and took his case to the cross for direction and was able to watch his dad and brother Zeke win a state championship at Cypress Christian in Houston, Texas.
“I really was in prayer … (and) when God speaks, he speaks loudly,” he recalled. “I went home and watched my little brother and dad win a state championship.”
While at home in Texas, Hogan received the call from Kentucky and didn’t balk at the opportunity to play for the Wildcats.
“I felt like this was the best door of opportunity,” he said. “It’s also an awesome conference and for the SEC to call and say, ‘Hey, we’ll give you a chance’ … you don’t get that call every day. I felt like it was the smartest place to go.”
Since he arrived on campus, Hogan has worked his way into the backup quarterback slot and hasn’t second-guessed his decision to transfer.
“I knew that the opportunities that I had were not far off,” he said. “One of them is where God wanted me to be. I’m a big believer in the idea that God talks all the time about how he blesses the steps and it will take time.
“The concept of deciding and then making that decision the right decision. I think God gives the people that follow him options sometimes. I had a peace knowing that the Lord was with me, and he was going to bless my steps and I was walking in faith.”
Wearing the ‘Christian’ label
Outside of football, Hogan studies the Bible and is in the Word daily and understands the balance between life and sports.
“It’s nothing really new to me,” he said. “It’s just operating with intentionality and routine. As long as I have a routine, the schedule is not bad. It’s what I know.”
He also knows he will be deeply rooted in his faith no matter where the path of life leads him in the future.
“I’m just trying to always represent the things that I say I stand for because I know that I’m being watched and I know that people label me with Christianity,” he said. “I’m trying to always be a witness, just by the way that I practice.”
Now that he has reached his goals, he’s not taking the role for granted.
“(The) Lord’s been sovereign.’ he said. “It doesn’t change my approach. I’ve got to perform every day because, you know, spots are never secured.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by Keith Taylor and originally published by Kentucky Today.