Hoge spoke to students about the obstacles he's faced in life from the death of his mother when he was young to being diagnosed with lymphoma in 2003.
He put a book out in 2010 called Find a Way. Hoge says that simple phrase has meant a lot to him over the years.
"Those words have helped me to live a dream and fight to live twice. They inspired action in my life. Hopefully when I'm done tonight, everybody sitting there will understand the gifts they have.
Hoge was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1987, and led the team in rushing and receiving four of his first five years in the league. In 1993 he signed with the Chicago Bears, but was forced to retire after the season with post-concussion syndrome.
Hoge works as an analyst on hit ESPN shows like Sportscenter and NFL Live.