By: Nate Schneider
Ithaca grad Logan Hessbrook hoping to see field in first season with Central Michigan
Ithaca native Logan Hessbrook had a huge decision to make three years and ago and went with his gut instinct, opting to transfer from Saginaw Valley State after his freshman year to play football at Central Michigan University.
After biding his time and sitting out a season due to NCAA transfer rules, Hessbrook enjoyed spring ball knowing all the time and energy put in was finally going to pay off with an opportunity to play meaningful snaps in the 2017 Maroon and Gold Spring Game.
He certainly made the most of his chance.
Hessbrook hauled in four passes including a touchdown while setting up another late score, nearly helping the Maroon rally back in what ended as a 21-20 loss to the Gold squad.
“It was a lot of fun today,” Hessbrook said to The Mount Pleasant Morning Sun following the scrimmage. “Going through the transfer process at Saginaw Valley and then having to sit out a year, that was really tough on me mentally because I was preparing physically just like all the other guys. So to get out here for the spring game, have a good day and see a great fan turnout was perfect. I had a blast playing football today.”
Hessbrook was a standout three-sport athlete at Ithaca High School, memorably filling in at quarterback during the 2012 Division 6 state championship game after starter Travis Smith injured his shoulder.
A usual wide receiver, Hessbrook guided the Yellowjackets to a 41-22 victory over Clinton for what was the third of four straight state championships for the program.
Hessbrook began to excel at Saginaw Valley State as a freshman, but ended up breaking his collarbone midseason and it ended up being the last he would play for the Cardinals.
The avenues opened at Central Michigan and he decided transferring would be best for his future.
“Central Michigan wanted me to greyshirt here out of high school,” Hessbrook explained. “I chose to go to Saginaw Valley State instead. I thought it was a better choice. But after the injury and everything, I talked with my family about different things and what I want to do with my future. Central Michigan is 20 minutes away, so having the opportunity to come here and play for [head coach John Bonamego] and [tight ends coach Sherrone Moore] was the best thing that ever happened for me.”
The junior Hessbrook was expected to be a backup to All-MAC senior tight end Tyler Conklin (42 catches, 560 yards, 6 TDs), but it was announced a couple weeks into camp the latter underwent surgery for a broken foot and is out indefinitely.
Now it will be Hessbrook along with senior Zach Crouch, fellow junior Jonathan Carson and converted senior running back Jay Roberson who will pick up the slack in Conklin’s absence.
Hessbrook modeled his work ethic after Conklin during the year he sat out.
“I’d say the biggest thing I learned was from Tyler Conklin by watching his practice film and game film,” Hessbrook stated. “I did a lot of film studies over the summer and in the winter. Through all that, it really got me ready. By the time I got on the field this spring, everything kind of slowed down a little bit. Last spring, it was moving fast and everything was chaotic for me. Not anymore.”
Bonamego spoke admirably to The Morning Sun and other reporters following the spring game about not only Hessbrook’s on-field ability, but also his character.
“First of all, he’s an unbelievable person,” Bonamego said about Hessbrook. “He’s ultra-hard working, passionate and a very good student. He is your model student-athlete in a lot of ways. He’s always looking to do more and never trying to get out of anything. He comes from a great program right down the road where they have a great tradition and are used to winning. I’m really happy he’s with us and looking forward to it.”
Central Michigan opens the season August 31 when it hosts Rhode Island at 7 p.m.