The following article appeared in the Sept. 18 edition of the Boston Herald, courtesy of John Connolly.
At this point, Andrew Hatch probably feels as comfortable being a globe trekker as he does being a quarterback. After all, the 24-year-old Nevada native’s odyssey has taken him from the ivy-covered walls of Harvard Stadium to the hills of Chile to the raucous confines of LSU’s Tiger Stadium and back.
Tonight, Hatch’s journey will come full circle when he steps behind center for Harvard as it opens its 137th football season by hosting Patriot League foe Holy Cross. The Crusaders (1-1) opened with a home victory over Howard before losing at No. 16 UMass.
“Well, there’s been a few steps,” quipped Hatch, a 6-foot-4 product of Cimarron-Memorial High School in Henderson, Nev.
Hatch arrived at Harvard in 2005 as a freshman and ended up leaving for the 2006-07 academic year to complete a two-year Mormon mission in South America, mostly in the southern part of Chile. That trip was curtailed due to knee surgery necessitated after Hatch got hurt playing soccer. In the meantime, Gary Crowton - the Brigham Young coach who originally tried to recruit Hatch - became offensive coordinator at LSU.
“Basically, (LSU) offered me a scholarship and it seemed like a great opportunity, so I pursued it that time,” Hatch said. “It went well.”
LSU won the national championship in Hatch’s first year (2007), and he started the first three games of 2008. Then a concussion knocked him out for a week. Hatch returned, but broke his leg in the season’s seventh game at Georgia.
He’d gone 25-of-45 for 282 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, but unsure whether he’d be 100 percent, Hatch decided he “wanted to go back and finish up where I started.
“I’m real excited about the chance to be at home,” said Hatch, who is majoring in psychology and economics. “I felt at home at Harvard. You never can predict how things will turn out. The same coaches. A couple of teammates that I knew. It’s been great to be here. It’s an exciting offense.”
The last actual game Hatch played was that aforementioned Georgia contest in front of a sold-out crowd of 90,000-plus. Tonight, Harvard hopes to draw 20,000 fans.
“I guess I’m kind of used to it. I never worry about (the crowd) too much, although we’d love to have a lot of fans there,” Hatch said. “I think I fit this offense well. I think, first and foremost, I’m a pocket passer but I feel I can make plays with my feet if I have to. Coach (Tim) Murphy and (Joel) Lamb give me a great offense to work with and it will be nice to go against another color jersey.”
Murphy is thrilled the team was able to overcome a potential disaster - the injury (torn adductor) to incumbent quarterback Collier Winters - thanks to having Hatch back on the scene.
“We’re very fortunate to have a kid that’s 24 years old. He’s been around a bit, been to another college. He’s been across the country, been to South America and the journey brings him all the way back to Harvard Stadium (tonight),” said Murphy. “I think he has great tools.”