Andrew Hatch Takes the Long Road to LSU
His name is Andrew Hatch and he plays quarterback for LSU. He is competing with Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson for the starting job next season.
Most people see that as the end of Hatch's story, but it's not, not even close.
He was born in Henderson, Nevada, the second-largest city in that state, and was raised a Mormon in the Church of Latter Day Saints.
While playing high school football, Hatch was recruited heavily by, and eventually committed to, Brigham Young University. He was courted by head coach Gary Crowton, a fellow Mormon.
After three straight losing seasons, Crowton was forced to resign and Hatch lost interest in the program.
Crowton gave his friend, Harvard coach Tim Murphy, a call and encouraged him to pursue the young quarterback. Murphy complied, and soon Hatch was headed for Harvard to wear crimson.
Hatch didn't set foot on the field during the Harvard season of 2004, and soon after took a leave of absence to go on his Mormon mission trip. Members of the Mormon church see going abroad and helping others as sort of a rite of passage, and soon the young Nevada native was headed for the wilds of Chile.
Hatch had decided to put others first, ahead of his football career, but it would turn out better for him in the end.
“It’s difficult a lot of the time, especially at this stage of your life, to have a chance to focus on something else other than just progressing through school and your career,” he said.
The usual mission lasts about two years, and Hatch decided he had to do what he had to do, and he put football and college life on hold for that amount of time.
But it was not to be so.
After just five months in Chile, Hatch tore up his knee playing another kind of football with a few local kids. Hatch kept about his work for two more months, just dealing with the injury and hoping that it would go away.
“I was hoping I just sprained something and I would walk it off, I was down there just working and doing my thing down there and it really didn’t get better,” he said.
Soon, an MRI revealed the seriousness of the injury and Hatch was headed back to the USA for surgery. That's when Gary Crowton, the former head coach of BYU, made a reappearance in his life.
Crowton was an assistant coach to head coach Les Miles for the Louisiana State University Fightin' Tigers and he invited Hatch to a camp where he earned a full scholarship to become an LSU Tiger
Now, after suffering a season-ending injury against Auburn, Hatch is going to have a hard time making the top of the Tigers' depth chart. Tigers fans are calling Jarrett Lee the quarterback of the future, when he's not throwing pick-sixes, and then there's Jordan Jefferson, who has looked pretty good here at the end of the season.
But one thing is for sure, Hatch is at LSU for a reason, and I believe that in the end, the best man will win.
Joshua Joffrion writes for Tigers Town, a blog dedicated to the LSU Fightin' Tigers. He is also the host of The Talk In Tigers Town, a podcast on that site.
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