At 5-foot-7, 155 pounds, Jamon Hogan doesn’t have the size of the prototypical running back.
But what Hogan lacks in size, he makes up for in speed and strength. The junior not only is one of the fastest players on the Columbus East football team, he’s the strongest for his size.
“I thought he could come in and really surprise some people,” East coach Bob Gaddis said. “We knew he had a lot of talent, and he had a tremendous offseason. He didn’t miss any workouts, and pound for pound, he’s as strong as anybody on the football team.”
Hogan holds the school weightlifting records for his weight class. He also won his class in last year’s Hoosier Hills Conference weightlifting event.
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Since last football season, Hogan has put on about 10 pounds.
“I stopped drinking pop, stayed hydrated and tried to take care of my body,” Hogan said. “I went to every summer workout we had and tried my best to get better and get ready for the season.”
When the Class 5A No. 5 Olympians host Madison on Friday night, Hogan will have an excellent chance to go over the 1,000-yard mark for the season. He has carried 98 times for 925 yards and 14 touchdowns for a 5-1 East team.
Hogan came into season with goals of rushing for at least 1,500 yards and 35 touchdowns.
“Everybody knows in our offense, our tailback is supposed to be a good player,” Gaddis said. “We’re fortunate that he works hard, and I think it helps also that he knows that (junior running back) Jaedin Miller is right behind him and Jaedin has done a great job for us, also.”
Hogan is following in a line of standout running backs for the Olympians. Andrew Wilson (at East from 2009-11) went on to play at Indiana University, Markell Jones (2012-14) is now playing at Purdue and Steven O’Neal (2013-15) now plays at Marshall.
Jones ran for a state-record 3,536 yards and 60 touchdowns in earning the Indiana Mr. Football award in 2014.
“I knew coming in this season I had some pretty big footsteps to try to fill in,” Hogan said. “But I believed that I could come in and do what I needed to do to become the next running back.”
The past two games, Hogan also has seen a little action on the defensive side of the ball in wins at New Albany and Floyd Central. Gaddis has been working him in East’s nickel package and called him a good man-to-man cover guy.
“He works hard,” Gaddis said. “When he comes out to practice, he brings it every night. He’s really bought into the fact that if your best players are your hardest workers, you have a chance to be pretty good.”
Name: Jamon Hogan
School: Columbus East
Position: Running back
Sports: Football, track and field
Favorite sport: Football
Favorite athlete: Barry Sanders or Walter Payton