We (the Royal "we") took a slot receiver who did not take one snap of practice or game at cornerback in his freshman season and turned him into a 60 tackle, 3 INT, 7 pass breakup starter in just one year. Those are pretty gaudy numbers for any player, let alone a sophomore who is just learning to play defense at the college level.
Brian Bennett, ESPN's resident Big East blogger, thought so much of the now-junior Hogan as to include him in his list of the top 30 conference players for 2009.
Brandon Hogan, CB, West Virginia
Why him here: Hogan went from being an undistinguished receiver as a freshman to a standout cornerback as a sophomore. His switch to defense went smoothly, and Hogan got better and better as the season went on. The 5-foot-10, 188-pounder showed off the speed that made him a receiver in the first place and displayed surprisingly good ability to tackle and make plays on the ball. He had 60 stops, three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and seven pass breakups on the season.
If Hogan can continue to progress at his current rate, he has a chance of blossoming into one of the best cornerbacks in the Big East.
Forget best cornerbacks, Hogan could be one of the best players in the league, period.
He possesses decent size for a cornerback (the average size of corners taken in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft this year was 5'11"; Hogan is 5'10"), great speed, and obvious athletic prowess that made it easy for him to adapt across the other side of the line of scrimmage.
This season, players like Reed Williams, J.T. Thomas, and Sidney Glover might get more publicity going into the season, but Hogan might end it as our best defensive player.