Aug. 20, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Linebacker Cory Hogue (Naples, Fla.) had an interesting senior season in 2008. He was named to the Preseason All-Conference USA team but during preseason camp suffered an incredibly rare case of compartment syndrome in his calf. Hogue missed UCF's opener while recovering but, in his first game of the season, had six solo tackles and a forced fumble against USF. After totaling 14 tackles in UCF's next two games, lightning struck twice as he had his season cut short after having compartment syndrome strike his other leg during UCF's game at UTEP.
Now back in preseason camp after getting a medical redshirt, Hogue is excited for a second run at his senior campaign. Based on his previous seasons, the UCF defense will welcome Hogue back to the rotation with open arms. In his career, Hogue has tallied 176 tackles, including 17 for a loss, and made four sacks.
Order your tickets today to see Hogue and the Knights play seven times this fall at Bright House Networks Stadium. For more information, call the UCF Ticket Office at (407) UCF-1000 or log on to UCFAthletics.com.
Only a few days of practice remain before the start of classes, UCF will continue preseason camp Thursday afternoon, with practice scheduled from 3:20-5:30 p.m. All practices are open to the public and media through Sunday, concluding with FanFest from 3-5 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
UCFAthletics.com recently caught up with Hogue to get his thoughts on getting stronger, the upcoming season and the defensive unit's focus this season.
What was the highlight of your summer and where did you spend most of it?
What are most looking forward to about the upcoming season and why?
"The highlight of my summer was just spending time working out here in the off-season. I had all online classes so I had a little off time, which I basically spent relaxing. I went to Wet n' Wild a couple of times, the movies here and there, but mostly I was just focusing on getting better for the season."
"I'm looking forward to winning games. I'm looking forward to winning the conference championship, and going to the Liberty Bowl. Just going out there and making plays with the defense. That is what I'm really looking forward to."
Where do you think you improved on the most over the offseason as an individual?
"I'd say I improved in overall strength. The strength of my quickness and footwork has improved, and I just have gained a better understanding of the game."
What do you think will be the biggest differences in the team this season compared to last season?
"I think experience will be the biggest difference, especially on the offensive side. We have that year of experience under our belt and working together, so they're going to come out a lot better and we expect big things out of us for this year."
What do you think the most important part of preseason practice is in preparing for the season and why?
"The most important part is just doing your job and giving effort. It's important to make sure the guys understand what they're doing and just having everyone on it and getting that team camaraderie together."
What do you see as the keys to your team having success this season?
"The key is having everyone on the same page. It's important to know that the guy next to you knows every play and to be dependable. Dependability is one of the biggest things we're talking about right now, along with doing the right thing."
What will be the key to replacing Joe Burnett and the rest of the secondary from last season?
"We just have to make sure those guys are ready. Those guys have been given the tools to do the job so it's just making sure they understand what's going on during the game and just getting them ready for Saturdays."
For the defensive side of the ball and a whole and for your position group specifically, what will be the main focus or goal this season?
"As far as the linebackers, the goal would be to be the best linebackers in C-USA. For the defense, the goal would be to be number one in every standing - total defense, yards per game, total yards and points allowed. Just being the top in those categories."
What are your goals individually this season?
"Individually, I would like to be on first team all-conference."