football Edit

JUCO DL Hoskins can't wait to make the move to Kentucky

Junior college defensive lineman Phil Hoskins hasn't wavered in his decision to commit to Kentucky's football program.

The Highland C.C. (Kan.) defensive lineman and Toledo (Ohio) native had a long conversation with Cats Illustrated on Monday, and he laid out the reasons he's excited about his future in Lexington.

Hoskins unofficially visited Kentucky earlier this year and he verbally committed to the Cats shortly after that first trip to the school. He has continued visiting Kentucky since his commitment.

"I love the coaches," Hoskins told Cats Illustrated. "I love Coach (Vince) Marrow. I love the fans. The fans are what's really driving me there. I like it. I love how (the fans) interact with people. I love the stadium, of course. Everything I've seen, all the new stuff they're building, it's all great. I went and saw some of the dorms and all that stuff and it's real nice. The more I go down there the more comfortable I get. It's only four hours from home. Who doesn't want their mom coming to see you play?"

If that sounds like a player who's excited about his opportunity to play at Kentucky, you've probably read Hoskins right.

Hoskins said both he and his mother are excited about the opportunity in Lexington.

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On his first unofficial visit to UK, the one that led to his commitment, Hoskins said the highlights were meeting the players, seeing the field, talking football with the coaches and learning about how the defense works from the coaching staff.

When Hoskins was a high school student-athlete his grades weren't good enough for him to qualify to play at an FBS school.

Hoskins' coach at his junior college, Highlands, said that he knew "a guy from Nebraska who coaches at UK now," obviously referring to Marrow. Hoskins told his coach at Highlands that he would love to add an offer from Kentucky, and so that's how he was put in touch with Kentucky's recruiting coordinator.

"Coach Marrow watched my film and said, 'That name sounds so familiar,'" Hoskins recalled. "He recruits Ohio so we talked on the phone and they offered me a scholarship. I was like, yeah, I need to go check out Kentucky. It was before summer break. I just went down there and fell in love with it. It was a great trip."

Kentucky is often looking for defensive line depth and that has caused the staff to reserve plenty of scholarships for ends, tackles and nose guards since Mark Stoops arrived. This year's class should have several more defensive linemen, and Hoskins likes the opportunity to play early.

"The opportunity I have to play is probably one of the best you can ask for as a JUCO kid," he said. "When I get there I'm supposed to be starting. But obviously I'm going to have to work to keep my position. They've told me it's my position, but I'm going to have to do everything in my power to keep it. I'll go above and beyond for the team.

"Honestly, they're going to be throwing me all around (to different positions on the line). They know I can play the three, the four and the six, so they're going to put me all around on the line," Hoskins added.

Defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh has begun the process of getting to know Hoskins.

"Me and Coach Brumbaugh just got off the phone today," Hoskins added. "He's a real nice dude. He's real soft spoken and he's a good-hearted man. He's a real gentleman."

Hoskins played in six of Highlands 10 games last season.