Steve Franz / LSU Sports Information
Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009 | 12:43 p.m.
Andrew Hatch's college football odyssey is returning to the place it started.
The Cimarron-Memorial High graduate confirmed Thursday that he is leaving national powerhouse LSU and returning to play at Harvard, the Ivy League school he started his career at in 2005.
Hatch, who was LSU's starting quarterback this fall and part of their national championship team the year before, fell down the depth chart at LSU midway through his red-shirt sophomore season with a broken fibula.
"Don't underestimate what Andrew Hatch did for our football team in 2008," LSU football coach Les Miles said in a press release. "He filled a void for us at quarterback in 2008 and his play on the field allowed us to start the season off on a positive note. Even though an injury kept him out of action for the last half of the season, he still played a tremendous role in the success of our team. Andrew has a bright future and we wish him continued success both on the field and in the classroom."
He will start classes at Harvard later this month and expects to have two years of eligibility remaining.
"Obviously, everyone wants a chance to play," said Hatch, who is currently home in Henderson. "LSU is a great school, but ultimately I wanted to finish my education at the place I started."
Hatch started LSU's first three games this season before sharing time with freshman Jarrett Lee. Also, top recruit Russell Shepard enrolled early for spring practices and is expected to receive playing time.
Hatch completed on 25-of-45 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers this fall. He also rushed for 129 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries.
"Being at LSU was an awesome experience all around," he said. "I was fortunate to work with some great coaches and meet some great people. The fans make it one of the best places to play college football."
Hatch was on Harvard's junior varsity team in 2005, and left following the season for a two-year church mission to Chile. But he injured his knee playing a pickup soccer game and returned after five months.
LSU offensive coordinator Gary Crowton — who recruited Hatch when he was the coach at BYU — arranged for Hatch to walk-on at LSU because of a shortage of quarterbacks. Hatch earned a scholarship after spring practice and was part of the Tigers' national championship team the following fall.
"After a lot of consideration, returning to Harvard was the best direction to go with my life," Hatch said.
Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or firstname.lastname@example.org.