STANFORD -- Quarterback Kevin Hogan would not discuss his future at Stanford last week before what might have been his last home game or this week before what might be his final Big Game. But it's not just the public and press that Hogan is keeping at a distance.
"He didn't want to talk about it in the spring with me," Cardinal coach David Shaw said.
This much seems clear: Hogan, a fourth-year junior who is on track to graduate in June, is contemplating a jump to the NFL.
He and Shaw agreed months ago that the best course would be to table any discussions during the season and submit paperwork to the draft advisory board in December. The feedback will help determine whether Hogan returns for his senior year.
"It's something I've really not thought about," Hogan said Tuesday night. "Something I'll do at the appropriate time is weigh the pros and cons of everything and try and make the best life decision.
"I love this place. You only get so many years playing in college. That's something that weighs huge."
That Hogan is considering a jump to the pros might come as a surprise to fans who have watched the Cardinal (5-5, 3-4 Pac-12) and its quarterback struggle this season.
Stanford has only six touchdowns in five games against ranked opponents, and Hogan ranks eighth in the conference in passing efficiency with 15 touchdowns, seven interceptions and a completion percentage of 63.8.
"This year hasn't been what he had hoped and what we had hoped," Shaw said. "But there are a few games left to hopefully end on a positive note for him and us."
Hogan is rated the No. 5 quarterback in the junior class, according to the respected website NFLDraftScout. Compared physically to San Diego's Philip Rivers, he has the arm strength, mobility and size (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) to play in the NFL and has won plenty of big games. But there are concerns about his field vision, accuracy and throwing motion.
One scout believes Hogan projects as a late-round pick: "He's big and mobile but has a long release and throws a heavy ball."
The senior class isn't loaded with elite prospects, so Hogan's draft position could ultimately depend on which underclassmen apply. Oregon junior Marcus Mariota and Florida State's Jameis Winston, a draft-eligible sophomore, are considered the top two prospects, followed by UCLA junior Brett Hundley, Mississippi State junior Dak Prescott and Baylor senior Bryce Petty.
"I've heard a lot of talk about this being a top-heavy quarterback class and that the battle is for who's the third, fourth and fifth (quarterback selected)," Shaw said.
"I don't anticipate him leaving necessarily. But he and his family will make a great decision at the end of the year."
Shaw squashed speculation that Hogan's return would create a competition for the starting job with touted freshman Keller Chryst. Hogan, a three-year starter, would be "locked in" as the No. 1 quarterback.
"That's not to say we wouldn't look to do for somebody else what we did for him, which is to start spoon-feeding a guy," Shaw added. "What I don't want is to go into the 2016 season with a quarterback that has never played a snap.
"There is no real competition for his job. It's his job. But he'd also understand that for the future of Stanford football, the next guy or guys needs to start getting ready to play. Whoever gets that opportunity, we need to start to get them ready for '16."
For the moment, Hogan is giving no thought to draft projections, Chryst, next season or his professional future. It's all about the Big Game, whether it's his last or not.
"You're just going to play -- that's the first mindset, that you're fired up to play," he said. "You can get nostalgic afterward, but you're going in to take heads off."
THE HOGAN FILE
Kevin Michael Hogan
technology and society
(currently reading "Game of Thrones")
21-8 overall/10-6 vs.
By the numbers: Career passing efficiency rating of 145.3 is second-best in Stanford history behind Andrew Luck (162.80)
Record and stats vs. Cal: 1-0 as a starter.
18 of 27 for 338 yards,
Stanford (5-5, 3-4 Pac-12) at Cal (5-5, 3-5),
1 p.m. FS1