Three years ago, Columbus East’s Markell Jones ran for a state-record 3,536 yards and 60 touchdowns and earned Indiana Mr. Football honors.

If Jamon Hogan makes the same progression from last year to this year that he did from his sophomore to his junior year, he could approach those numbers. He will begin his senior season Friday at Bloomington North.

“When Markell played for us and all of our tailbacks, everybody knows who our tailback is, and everybody knows the tailback is going to get the ball,” East coach Bob Gaddis said. “We just want to get the ball in the end zone, and Jamon has done that quite a few times for us.”

Last year, Hogan ran for 2,417 yards and 38 touchdowns. He helped lead the Olympians to the Class 5A state finals and shared The Republic Football Player of the Year honors with East quarterback Josh Major.

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But Hogan isn’t focused on chasing Jones’ numbers.

“I’m just trying to have better stats than I did last year,” Hogan said. “I just want to have a great last season since this is my senior year and have fun and just do my best.”

The 5-foot-7 Hogan has put on about five pounds, but still weighs only 160, which is small for a large-school running back. That likely is part of the reason why Hogan, who runs a 4.56-second 40-yard dash, hasn’t received any college offers.

Hogan acknowledges that it is hard for him to put on a lot of weight.

“He doesn’t have very much body fat, so it’s hard for guys like that to gain a lot of weight,” Gaddis said. “But his strength numbers are higher, he’s faster, he’s a little bit bigger and he’s a year older, so we’re expecting big things out of him. He’s training awfully hard for his senior season.”

With Major also returning for his senior year, as well as senior running back Jaedin Miller, Hogan doesn’t expect to get all the carries. But in East’s run-first offense, he is sure to get plenty. He had 269 carries last season while playing only a little more than a half in several blowout wins.

Hogan said playing in college always has been a goal and that he hopes to play at the next level, even if it means having to move to wide receiver or cornerback. His cousin Krishawn Hogan starred as a wide receiver at Marian University and signed as a free agent with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals.

“He was big motivation growing up,” Jamon Hogan said. “We’ve grown up together, and we’ve had pretty much the same goals. I just look at him as a big brother and a motivator.”

Jamon Hogan

Name: Jamon Hogan

School: Columbus East

Year: Senior

Position: Running back

Height: 5-foot-7

Weight: 160

Key stats: Ran for 2,417 yards and 38 touchdowns as a junior

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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.