Doug Hogue, a Yonkers native and former Syracuse University linebacker, seems likely to hear his name called at some point during the 2011 NFL Draft later this month. There is a chance that the team calling his name could be either the New York Giants or New York Jets, a possibility Hogue called "awesome."
"Playing for either one of those teams would be great. I live right down the street," said Hogue. "Me being a New Yorker, that would be awesome."
Hogue worked out at the Timex Performance Center for the Giants on Thursday and at Florham Park for the Jets on Friday as part of each team's pre-draft local prospects workout day.
"Two years ago I would never have thought I'd be in this position right now. It's really just amazing. I was in the Jets and the Giants facilities the past two days. How many people get to do that? Them inviting me there is a blessing," Hogue said.
"At the same time without a doubt it's stressful. You expect yourself to be great and you want to show what you can do, be the best you possibly can be."
Hogue did not really want to speculate about how the workouts went, or which team might have shown more interest in him.
"I don't think it really matters what I think about it, but I feel like it went well. I feel like I showed the coaches ... I'm able to move, open my hips up and I'm good in space. I think it was more of seeing me in person to get to know my personality, which speaks for itself," Hogue said. "Until one of them actually picks you on draft day you never know what's going to happen."
Hogue would not disclose which team he grew up rooting for.
"I actually grew up rooting for one or the other. It was always both, it was never one in particular. I always had favorite players. I was a running back once upon a time so I liked Curtis Martin, I liked Tiki Barber, I like Brandon Jacobs, I like Greene. I like everybody.
"I don't want to say I like one team or the other."
Hogue has reportedly drawn interest from eight to 12 teams. In addition to the Giants and Jets he has visited with the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles. He has visits coming up with the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots. Hogue was originally considered a likely late-round pick, but his post-season workouts may have moved him into the fourth- or fifth-round discussion. Of course, he did not want any part of speculating when -- or if -- he will be taken.
"God willing I get drafted. A lot of surprises happen. I don't want to say I might go in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th. I don't want to say any of that," Hogue said. "Me being drafted period is a blessing."
The entire pre-draft process, especially the annual NFL Scouting Combine, is an experience unlike any other that these young NFL Draft prospects have ever gone through, or will ever go through again. Hogue's 'Combine moment', if you can call it that was parading in front of scouts, coaches and general managers to be weight and measured in just his underwear.
"At school even when we ran our 40s and stuff like that I always kept my shorts on and kept a shirt on," Hogue said. "The Combine, that was an experience I will never forget. Walking around like that, everybody's watching you. It's kinda like a meat market. It was different."
Hogue is a converted running back who spent the first two years of his Syracuse career on offense, carrying the ball 112 times for 483 yards (4.3 yards per carry) and catching 14 passes before moving to linebacker as a junior. In 2010 he made 95 tackles, had three sacks, two interceptions and forced a fumble from his linebacker spot. In two seasons at linebacker he was credited with 26.5 tackles for loss, ninth on the school's all-time list.
"Coach Marrone obviously saw something, and everybody else in the NFL world sees something in me at linebacker. It's gotten me this far, if I was at running back I don't think I'd be in this position right now," Hogue said. "Everything happens for a reason. Maybe I would have had a shot if I could showcase what I could do at running back, but for the way things were going that wasn't going to happen."
"I'm so raw at the position. ... They can teach me anything they want to teach me, I'm not going to be stuck in any old ways because there are no old ways. Maybe it's an advantage."
Hogue would like a 'home field' advantage in the NFL. With either the Jets or Giants.
Hogue By The Numbers
40-yard dash: 4.61
Bench Press: 18 reps
Vertical Jump: 36 inches
Broad Jump: 121.0
Three-Cone Drill: 7.09
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.57
60-Yard Shuttle: 11.76
* Numbers from NFL.com