• John Macon Gillespie

Next Man Up: Prep's Nik Hogan

Jackson Prep completed an undefeated season and won a state championship this season as they defeated MRA 51-13. With 25 seniors departing from that team it’s certainly a reasonable time to look to the future. Nik Hogan, a rising junior, will be a big part as they look forward.

“It was a great season. Coach (Ricky)Black did a great job holding us accountable and not letting us be complacent.,” Hogan said.

As a 6’4 240-plus pound tight end/defensive end Hogan’s future is bright. He not only can get out and catch passes, but he also helped pave the way for Prep to rush for over 240 yards per game this season.

The numbers from his sophomore campaign don’t jump off the page but that’s mostly due to a thumb injury that kept him out of seven games.

“It was tough dealing with the thumb injury. That reflected in my receiving numbers,” he explained. “But overall, the team and myself had a great season.”

Even with two full seasons left at the high school level, there’s excitement about his future on the next level. Not only for a potential football career, but baseball as well. To round it out, he even plays basketball for Prep.

Varsity Preps has Hogan ranked as the 13th best prospect in their early 2018 Mississippi football rankings. That won’t be the last time you see his name. In fact, it’s likely only the beginning.

“I have always played all three sports very well and people told me I could be great at an early age. My goal is to play college football and baseball. My recruitment is reflecting that,” he stated.

With size like Hogan possesses as well as diverse athletic talents there unquestioned potential. However, sometimes size and athleticism don’t always take you to the next level. Work ethic is usually the key ingredient. And that is an ingredient that he has no shortage of.

“My motivation is to be great and I’m dedicated to getting better,” he said. “After two-a-days in the summer I would stay and do extra work. So much work that the coaches would have to tell me to go home. I’m just that hungry.”

Hogan’s focus and dedication to his athletic future becomes even more evident once you ask him what his favorite things to do off the court, gridiron and diamond are.

“I really enjoy just hanging out with my family and working out." He continued, “I try to live by two words. ‘Be great.’ That can define me in any aspect of life. That and my God-given abilities are what separate me from the rest.”

Once you really dig into Hogan and who he is away from sports you start to find a very charismatic young man with a particular interest.

“I am a shoe freak,” He exclaimed. “I have a lot of Jordan’s and Nikes and many other shoes.”

He even has an interest away from sports that he feels could turn into a potential career.

“I love interacting with other people,” he said. So where could that land him? “Probably something business-related like marketing where I can talk to a lot of people.”

But back to football. He intends to continue building on things that he has learned so far, but also he looks forward to what is still to come and improvements he will make.

“I’ve learned you have to trust what you are taught by coaches and other players," he said. “I’m excited being a part of a great program. I just want to win more championships and put up good numbers individually. Personally, I need to gain a little speed for tight end, but besides that I’m a pretty complete tight end.”

That he certainly is. Nik Hogan is a name to remember as he could develop into one of the state’s best players in the next two seasons. He is an SES “Next man up.”

**Photos provided by Melinda Courtney of Jackson, Mississippi.

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