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With 7-Eleven, Bills go shopping for WR prospect

By Tim Graham

The receiver known as 7-Eleven is open for business again. He appropriately returned to an NFL practice field on 11/7.

Chris Hogan, the newly signed Buffalo Bills practice-squad receiver, laughed when that was pointed out to him today. His NFL experience has featured dramatic twists over the past few months.

Hogan was one of the stars of HBO's "Hard Knocks" at Miami Dolphins training camp. The undrafted former Penn State lacrosse player became a storyline because he was viewed as an underdog with a shot to make the roster. His impressive practice performances garnered him the nickname 7-Eleven -- because he was always open.

"It was fun while it lasted," Hogan said. "I'll have that for the rest of my life."

But he didn't make the final roster and has been hoping to latch on somewhere ever since while working out at a gym in Franklin Lakes, N.J.

Hogan played one season of college football, catching 12 passes for 147 yards and three touchdowns at Monmouth. But he can run the 40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds, and at an athletic 6 foot 1 and 220 pounds, NFL scouts have been just interested enough to stoke his pursuit.

"I've learned one thing: Keep your head up and good things will happen if you keep working hard at it," Hogan said.

"It's tough to get cut, to get released by the Dolphins after everything. But I drove back that week and started working out right away, stayed in shape and hoped to get a call from another team."

Hogan had four catches for 34 yards in four preseason games for the Dolphins. Three of those catches came in the second game.

He worked out for the Bills a few weeks ago but didn't get an offer. He had a tryout scheduled for today with the New York Jets, but he canceled to sign with the Bills. The Bills had summoned their only practice-squad receiver, Marcus Easley, to the 53-man roster Tuesday.

"Whoever called, I was going," Hogan said. "The Bills didn't have to pitch anything to me except, 'We have a job for you.' "

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |