Lost in the wash from Saturday’s loss to Georgia is one of the most impressive interceptions ever made by a Kentucky Wildcat.
Sidelined by an injury a year ago, former JUCO defensive lineman Phil Hoskins received a waiver for one final season of eligibility at UK. He made it count against Georgia’s talented offensive line. A few days after he made the incredibly athletic play, Big Snacc described what went into making the catch the kept the Dawgs out of the end zone before halftime.
“I just read my keys. I read my tackle. I read his feet. All week we talked about if he had that narrow stance, it was going to be a pass. He had that really narrow stance, so I was like, okay, let me get ready for this. We also knew that Stetson (Bennett IV) threw the ball low and mashing the ball was pretty big,” Hoskins said.
“So I read my keys, put on a couple moves, put my hand up, batted the ball, looked up. In that moment as soon as I saw the ball was in enough distance for me to get to it, it was like complete silence. I didn’t hear the stands. I didn’t hear the game around me. My only focus was catching that ball.”
After batting the ball in the air, he tracked it down and caught the football in stride. Jeff Piecoro compared Hoskins to Bill Russell, while Tom Leach called back to Anthony Davis’ game-winning block against North Carolina in 2011.
Interception – @phil_hoskins
He batted the pass, and caught it himself for his first interception of his career. pic.twitter.com/iUBQ2hdjYS
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) November 4, 2020
A play Hoskins will remember forever, he foresaw the events unfolding days before it ever happened.
“It’s really crazy because I kid you not, a few days before I kept visualizing me catching a ball somehow. Then it happened. It was really nuts,” he said. “I can’t even explain it to you. It was nuts.”
One of the Wildcats’ 11 interceptions over the last four games, even though he did not pull a Jamin Davis and return it 85 yards for a touchdown, Hoskins is in the early lead for Play of the Year.