Now with Colts, Krishawn Hogan blazing a trail for Marian football

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – On what has been a trailblazing journey for Krishawn Hogan, a rudimentary benefit awaits: a big-screen TV.

Thus far, the first Marian University product to earn a spot on an NFL active roster has been “pretty frugal’’ with expenses while building a life with his girlfriend and infant son, K.J.. The weekly pay as a member of the Indianapolis Colts’ practice squad since Sept. 4: $7,200.

“I did spend a little money on furniture moving into my first place,’’ Hogan said Thursday. “But we don’t have a TV, yet. I’m just happy to have a nice place up in Zionsville.

“We’re just enjoying some time with our son.’’

The opportunity to splurge a bit presented itself Tuesday when the Colts moved Hogan from the practice squad to the active roster. The accompanying weekly pay boost: $27,352.

“If all goes well,’’ Hogan said with a grin, “I’m getting a big TV.’’

Consider it a reward for bucking the odds and fulfilling a dream that drew its first breath during his prolific career at Marian. The Warren Central High School product and long-time Colts fan collected 263 receptions, 4,395 yards and 42 touchdowns in 40 games.

He was the Mid-States Football Association Offensive Player of the Year in 2016 and an integral component of the Knight’s three consecutive NAIA playoff appearances and 2014 national championship effort.

Now, Hogan represents an example of what is possible.

Previously, products of Marian’s budding football program – this is its 11th year of existence – had been limited to brief appearances as a minicamp tryout or in training camp.

The Colts brought in running back Jakhari Gore, cousin of Frank Gore, this summer and kicker Mike Josifovski, four years ago. Offensive lineman Coy Beilby spent a few days in training camp with the New Orleans Saints in 2011.

But Hogan is the first to make it this far, just as he was the first Marian product to earn an invitation to the NFL Scouting Combine. While he’s focused on the Colts’ Sunday night test against the Seahawks in Seattle, he nonetheless understands the magnitude of the step he’s taken.

“I think it might mean something even more to the school and the people playing there right now and people who have played there in the past to finally be able to point and say, ‘I played there. We’re just like everybody else,’’’ Hogan said. “We’ve had guys get to camps and have opportunities, but to actually be on that roster and get snaps for a real game, it’s huge for the program.’’

There’s no guarantee how long Hogan sticks on the active roster even though the team likes the size (6-3, 222 pounds) he brings to the offense. Contributing to the decision to elevate him was Chester Rogers’ lingering hamstring issue and Kamar Aiken sustaining a concussion in last Sunday’s win over the Arizona Cardinals. Rogers won’t play at Seattle – he’s yet to play this season – but Aiken seems to be advancing through the NFL’s concussion protocol.

“I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen with him,’’ offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski said of Hogan. “He’s one of those guys – and they always happen, and they already have this season – where there’s guys that come out of nowhere and end up helping you in some way.

“My experience is when you see guys on the practice squad and every couple of days you notice them making a big play and saying, ‘Wow, that’s a pretty good play.’ Those guys end up being guys that can help you and have chances to be players down the road.’’

The Colts are likely to go into Seattle with five healthy receivers: T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, Quan Bray, Aiken and Hogan. All probably will be active for the game, and Hogan’s workload might primarily come on special teams.

“That’s definitely what’s probably in store for me,’’ he said. “A lot of special teams and just showing my physicality there and just trying to build my game as a receiver and hopefully get more and more reps at that.’’

Hogan already has shown the necessary resolve on his return home.

He waited patiently in late April as the NFL draft unfolded, but his name wasn’t among the 253 called.

“My agent always was realistic with me,’’ Hogan said. “He told me that where I came from and the type of year it was . . . gave me a lot of reasons why I was an on-the-fence guy.

“I wouldn’t say I was disappointed. I just knew I had that much more to prove when I got in.’’

Hogan considered his options when teams approached about signing him as an undrafted rookie in the hours after the draft, and opted for the Arizona Cardinals. They were “the best fit for me at the time,’’ he said.

He spent the offseason and preseason with the Cardinals, but was among the Sept. 2 casualties when rosters were cut to 53.

Two days later, the Colts signed him to their practice squad.

“To get that call from the Colts and to come home for more than one reason, that was awesome,’’ Hogan said.

This was a team he had followed as a youngster. He was a fan of receivers Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, but they actually ranked third on his list.

“I played quarterback growing up,’’ Hogan said with a smile, “so I might have been a bigger fan of Peyton (Manning) than those two.’’

So many years later, he’s back in town, close to family and friends, with the Colts.

“The local support is crazy,’’ he said. “What makes it surreal is everybody reaching out, saying that they support me. I’ll be more surreal for me after the game this weekend to watch the film and see like, okay, I was on the field. I’ll have a game under my belt.

“Hopefully I’ll play well and put out those good plays.’’

And hopefully he’ll have a brand, spanking new TV to review those plays.

You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.

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