We’re just weeks away from National Signing Day, and Mark Stoops is in the process of raking in his best recruiting class since arriving at Kentucky.
The Wildcats have 22 commitments ready to sign on the dotted line on February 5th, and are hopeful for a few more big-time “Yahtzee’s” as well.
One of those guys ready to sign? Three-star DT Phil Hoskins out of Toledo, Ohio.
Hoskins held offers from Arkansas, Baylor, Oklahoma State, and Mississippi State before eventually choosing the Wildcats. At Highland Community College last year, he made 25 tackles, eight tackles for loss, and four sacks.
I sat down with the 6’5, 275-pounder on his time at Highland, his recruitment, and the impact he’s planning on making when he gets to Lexington.
Check out our interview here:
How was your experience at Highland Community College? Do you feel you were able to get your name out there and get the exposure you wanted?
Yeah I got a lot of exposure. It was really nice, I got along with the coaches really well. I was really cool with all of the players and coaches there. I learned a lot.
How did you feel your game grew while you were there?
I definitely learned a lot while I was there, specifically with my technique and different moves. I focused on my footwork, more fundamentals and technique than anything. I feel like the talent was already there for me, I just needed to work on some of the specific parts of my game to take it to the next level.
Talk about your final list, what did that look like, and what was your level of interest in those schools?
Originally I was going to go to Baylor, but the offers kept coming in for me so I kept things open. Then my coaches mentioned UK and wanted me to look into the program. I talked to the coaches, took a visit there, and something just pushed me to Kentucky. In high school I never thought about it, but when I took the time to look into it, I loved it.
When it came to Kentucky, what made that the school you knew you wanted to go to?
Coach Marrow had a really good impression with me, but specifically with my family. They had a great relationship, my family loved how they approached everything. The family atmosphere is great, and that’s where I was sold.
Are you 100% locked in at Kentucky? Definitely going there?
Definitely, I’m going to Kentucky. I’ll be signing in February.
Talk a little bit about your visit there, the recruits you talked with, and some of the players already on the team you connected well with.
My visit to Kentucky was really good. I hung out mostly with Jordan Bonner, he was really cool. I know we’re going to be kicking it when I get to UK. He had the right mindset about everything, and I want to follow in those footsteps. I’m not going just to take it lightly, I want to stay focused and come in there and do my job. My visit got me really excited to get down there and get to work.
What coaches talked to you the most? What were some of the things they said to you in your recruitment?
Stoops and Marrow were the main guys, but I talked with Eliot and Brumbaugh too. They were really excited about me. They know I’ll be a big guy on the defensive line for them. They loved my game, really had a lot of interest in me. They said they know exactly how to use me on the line, so I’m excited.
Kentucky has struggled a little bit on the defensive line, but have been really good everywhere else. You’re part of a pretty impressive list of recruits on the line. What do you think the entire defense will be able to do with talented defensive line commitments coming in and taking over?
We’ll be able to take over, some of the athletes are going to be huge for us. Our recruiting class is something special, and I feel all of us are going to provide something different for the team. The entire defense has a lot of talent on there, so it’s going to be fun to watch. We’re going to be scary good.
What do you feel you bring to the table as a defensive tackle? What separates your game from the rest of the nation’s defensive tackles?
Physicality. I feel that I have that edge that not many others have. I feel that I’m very athletic for a big man, so that works to my advantage well.
Do you feel that you’ll be able to come in immediately and compete for playing time?
Yes most definitely, I plan on coming in and playing immediately. I’m having surgery on my shoulder so I might not play for the first couple games. After that, though, I’m fighting for playing time.
What are some of the things you think you need to work on when you get to UK?
I need to work on my strength. I’m a very coachable person, so I’ll be able to learn fast and do whatever the coaches feel I need to work on. I have a lot of faith in them.
Anything you want to say to the BBN before we go?
Go Big Blue! I’m really excited to get down there and get to work!
With guys like Josh Paschal, Quinton Bohanna, Alex King, Jordan Wright, Chris Whittaker, and Hoskins coming in on the defensive line, depth will certainly not be a problem going forward for Jimmy Brumbaugh’s group.
Come back on KSR in the next few weeks for interviews of Kentucky recruits and commitments leading up to National Signing Day.