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Kevin Hogan returning to Stanford for 2015 season

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Stanford senior Kevin Hogan, who has started the last 32 games at quarterback for the Cardinal, announced on Thursday afternoon that he will return to Stanford for his fifth season.

Hogan capped off his senior season by throwing for two touchdowns and 189 yards and leading Stanford to a 45-21 win in the Foster Farms Bowl, earning the game’s offensive MVP honors. In the victory, he moved into a tie for fifth place all-time in Cardinal history with 48 passing touchdowns and also became the first Cardinal quarterback ever to lead the team to two bowl wins.

“I ultimately decided I wasn’t ready to leave this place, and that I could continue to grow here,” Hogan said in an athletic department statement. “Some of the guys I talked to said to rely on your gut and don’t make a decision you might regret down the road. This is something I can’t regret. Coming back to Stanford really was a win-win situation for me.”

“A lot of my decision wasn’t necessarily related to the football program,” he added. “It was the school in general. I feel I can further dedicate myself academically and possibly get my master’s degree next year. There’s no better locker room in the country and I wasn’t ready to leave these guys.”

After redshirting his first year on the Farm, Hogan began to see playing time as a sophomore, initially as a change-of-pace quarterback who would come in to run the option. However, in the ninth game of the 2012 season, a road win against Colorado, Hogan replaced starter Josh Nunes and immediately led the team to a 48-0 victory over the Buffs, going 18-for-23 with 2 touchdowns, 184 passing yards and 48 rushing yards in his first extended period of time at quarterback.

Hogan then subsequently led the Cardinal to victories over No. 13 Oregon State and No. 1 Oregon – in Eugene, no less – on the way to helping clinch a Pac-12 title and Stanford’s first Rose Bowl win since 1972. Hogan finished the year with a 72 percent completion rate and 9 touchdowns to only 3 interceptions.

In his junior season, Hogan started every game and finished with 22 total touchdowns and almost 3,000 yards combined passing and rushing. With wins over Arizona State (twice), Washington, UCLA, Oregon and Notre Dame, Hogan moved to 8-0 in his first eight games against top-25 opponents before falling to Michigan State in the Rose Bowl.

Though Hogan shouldered some of the blame for the offense’s disappointment in his senior season as the team faltered to finish 8-5, he rebounded to go 45-for-59 (76 percent completion rate) with four touchdowns and 618 passing yards over his final three games, all Stanford victories.

“I want this team to reach its ceiling,” Hogan said. “We’re talented in every part of the game and have never really fulfilled our potential. I think we saw signs of it at the end of the year.”

Hogan returns along with much of the same offensive core from the 2014 Cardinal. With his return, the Cardinal boast nine returning starters on offense, only losing left tackle Andrus Peat and wide receiver Ty Montgomery.

In the statement, Hogan was dismissive of the rumors that have swirled in recent weeks that he was considering transferring elsewhere for his final season.

“I thought it was kind of funny at times because I had no idea where it came from,” he said. “You’d have to be crazy to transfer from Stanford. I love this place.”

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Michael Peterson is a senior staff writer at The Stanford Daily. He has served as a beat reporter for football, baseball and men’s soccer and also does play-by-play broadcasting of football and baseball for KZSU. Michael is a senior from Rancho Santa Margarita, California majoring in computer science. To contact him, please email him at mrpeters ‘at’ stanford.edu.