Before Highland C.C. (Kan.) defensive lineman Phil Hoskins can proceed with his recruitment, he needs something to compare.
That thought process, combined with strong interest from Iowa State, landed the talented 6-foot-5, 278-pound defensive lineman in Ames last weekend. Iowa State was one of the first schools to offer Hoskins, who has now seen his list expand to include Mississippi State, Syracuse, Houston and others.
Iowa State first began contact with Hoskins about one month ago when assistant Alex Golesh reached out to the Toledo (OH) native.
“You must remember Coach [Matt] Campbell,” Golesh said.
“Oh, yeah,” Hoskins told him, “I do.”
Golesh showed Campbell and defensive line coach Eli Rasheed his film and the Cyclones offered not long after. Hoskins was being recruited out of high school by Toledo, but things never worked out before he opted for the JUCO route.
“I was on their recruit papers and stuff,” Hoskins said. “They wanted me, but my grades were so bad they couldn’t really waste time on me.”
Now, Campbell wants him again.
Hoskins, who recorded 25 tackles (four sacks) in 10 games last season at Highland, is being recruited to play on the interior at Iowa State. Given his size, the Cyclones also like his versatility to move to the edge when needed.
“They told me they like how active I am and how I hustle around everywhere to the ball,” Hoskins said. “They told me they would probably have me at an inside position because that’s where I’m best at. [Coach Rasheed] was like, ‘You’re more valuable because you can play D-end and 3-tech. We could rotate you around any way you want to go.’”
Hoskins runs a 4.80 40-yard dash and his combination of speed and size makes him an intriguing 2017 target. Nebraska and Baylor are also showing interest and Hoskins plans to attend Nebraska’s spring game Saturday.
Currently, Hoskins is set to be a May graduate with three years to play two. Regardless of when he arrives, the message from Iowa State has been that the JUCO prospect can compete for a spot on Iowa State’s defensive line immediately.
“We’re pretty good. I’ve known [Coach Rasheed] for awhile. He took some clips out of my highlights and he compared them back to the old school. He coached me up and told me some stuff that would make me better and he said they’d love to have me,” Hoskins said. “He showed me the people that they might have coming in and he was like, ‘As of right now you’d probably be at the top of this list because we already know your God-given ability, it’s out of the roof and your ceiling is so high. You’d probably come in here and start, honestly, it just depends on how you work.’”
Hoskins doesn’t have a clear timeline for his recruitment but hopes to compare multiple schools before moving forward.
For now, he likes the glimpse he received on his first trip to Iowa State.
“I like how everything was close,” Hoskins said. “The coaches don’t get too overwhelmed by anything. You’ve got to go see another place and compare them before you can decide to go anywhere or do anything like commit.”