Cougar Kickoff Countdown: 58 Days

Jared Wickerham

#58 Chris Hoke is all about BYU.

#58 Chris Hoke played for BYU in 1994, 1997-2000. He grew up in southern California watching the Cougars play in the Holiday Bowl and was there for the Kelly Smith touchdown pass that won the Holiday Bowl in 1984. Guys like Jason Buck and Shawn Knight were his idols. Although he was courted by other programs, his heart was set on BYU. After he delayed his commitment to BYU defensive coordinator Ken Schmidt asked him if he was going to pick Utah. Hoke replied, "No, I'm coming to BYU, Coach. I just don't know how I'm going to tell the Utah coaches."

Hoke came to BYU and lived his childhood dream. "I'll never forget the first time running out of the tunnel at Cougar Stadium with the "Rise and Shout" song playing. I don't even remember whom we played. I know I got chills, and there were literally tears rolling down my face. Everyone was cheering. It was a dream come true. It was what I wanted to do since I was a little kid - eight years old. I remember thinking, Man, this is the best!"

Hoke played in LaVell's last game at BYU and was on the field with him when they renamed Cougar Stadium to LaVell Edwards Stadium. He helped the Cougars beat the Utes in LaVell's final game as a Cougar at the University of Utah and sent him out with a winning season. He was there for LaVell's final game as a coach at the Hula Bowl in Hawaii.

Hoke was signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent. He played for the Steelers for 11 years and won two Super Bowls with them.

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