Sprout's Hometown Hero: Case Hatch
Case Hatch grew up in Gilbert, Arizona, and was a three-year standout varsity football player at Perry High School. From 2013 to 2015, his name could be heard multiple times a game on the PA system. His former coach at Perry described Hatch as a "born and bred… football player," "I've never coached anybody like him ever." Racking up 217 solo tackles and 384 total tackles, bringing his average to a total of 12.0 tackles per game. He recorded 102 of those tackles in his senior season at Perry High School and helped the Pumas grow into a top 6A program.
Hatch was recruited in high school, but when nearing his high school graduation, instead of gearing up for a summer of college football, he had his eyes set on a trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A two-year LDS mission trip put football on hold. While learning Spanish and working in the community, he would wake up at 4:30 in the morning to work out and remain in football shape. When Case returned to Arizona, he walked on at Arizona State.
"I always wanted to stay in Arizona and play some ball," Hatch has said. He also recalls wearing maroon and gold for the first time after three years without football as a "huge blessing."
Hatch would wake up at 3 am to work at his father's construction company in the morning, then head to football practice at 7 am. After practice he would head to work again, then he would attend night classes, Monday through Friday of his freshman year. Injuries led to Hatch's fitness to be tested early. In 2019, his first season as a Sun Devil, Hatch recorded twelve tackles, ten of those being solo, and a forced fumble. In 2020, Case had two solo tackles against USC. In the summer going into the 2021 season, Hatch was awarded a scholarship. The Gilbert native has played a role in the Sun Devils' rushing offense.
The second oldest of six brothers leaned on his faith and has always taken opportunities that have come his way. His transition from linebacker to fullback made him reach out to the two-time Pro Bowler, Mike Karney, for advice and would study old game tapes. Karney noticed Hatch's willingness and commented, "it's rare to find a guy like Case Hatch, who was willing… "to go in there and sacrifice his body for the greater good of the offense." Hatch switched his number to 44 to pay homage to the ASU fullbacks before him like Karney and Jeff Paulk.