Myron Miller smiled as he watched Pete Hogan blast off the line of scrimmage for the first time in practice. Hogan removed a would-be tackler with such authority that Miller's playbook for Friday's North-South all-star high school football game immediately expanded.
"We'll be able to run the pitch [outside]," Miller told an assistant.
That is important because the South will run the double-wing offense, which helped Tustin's DeShaun Foster break single-season Southern Section scoring (59 touchdowns) and county rushing (3,398 yards) records.
Foster will be in the backfield Friday, but Hogan, from Newport Harbor, will play more than any other South member--even Foster, the all-everything back.
Hogan (6-3 1/2, 235 pounds) is the only two-way starter, at tight end and defensive end, and figures to play a large role at Orange Coast College if the South is to cut into the North's 20-15-3 series record.
"He's real focused," said Tustin's Miller, who will coach the South. "When he talks to you, he looks right in your eyes, he listens carefully to what you say, then he goes out on the field and practices it exactly the way you told him. He's a highly motivated, inner-directed athlete; you don't have to get on him. He's after himself.
"I like the kid."
Hogan was going to play defensive end in the all-star game and rotate with several other players at fullback. When University's Justin Isaac said he would be unable to play, Miller found himself hurting for another tight end to complement Laguna Hills' Saia Makaufaki.
He wasn't hurting for long.
"I said, 'Can you play tight end?' He said, 'Coach, I'll do whatever you want me to do.' " Miller said.
"I'm sure . . . he's not a guy who starts complaining but just gets the job done."
That's an image Hogan likes to uphold.
"I'm not a vocal leader, but I like to go out and work hard and give it my best shot," Hogan said. "I'm a guy who goes out and tries his hardest."
Hogan loves playing offense on running teams, and with the double wing, he feels right at home in what could be his last game as an offensive player. He will play defensive end at Colorado State next season.
Hogan impressed Miller so much in workouts that the coach asked Hogan to accompany him to a television interview this week. Hogan said he had done it once and warned the coach that he wasn't very good.
"I really don't like the spotlight," Hogan said. "I didn't feel I deserved to go in front of the other athletes on the all-star team. I'm kind of a shy person."
Hogan's talking, apparently, is done on the field.
He grew up in Newport Harbor's program and, after being promoted from the junior varsity in midseason, started the final six games for the Sailors as a sophomore. Newport Harbor went 4-6, which Hogan said was an invaluable learning experience.
"We didn't have the greatest year, but we learned to fight back and it helped us the following year," Hogan said. "That year, there was no leadership and I learned to show hard work and be a leader by example."
The next season, the Sailors were 12-2 and reached the Division V championship game.
"I love the game and I love the intensity," Hogan said. "I like to go out and get it done and win as a team."
With an attitude like that, Hogan will be popular with most coaching staffs.
"I didn't realize how good of a football player he was until I saw him in practice every day," Miller said. "He's going to make Colorado State a very happy school."
Hogan played linebacker and tight end last season for Newport Harbor and helped the Sailors reach the section semifinals.
"I don't think there's anybody that's got more 'want-to' than Pete does," Miller said. "There are other guys like him, but nobody wants it more than he does. Every play. He doesn't give you a bad play in practice."