BOGACZYK: Hoskins, Scott Anxious for More Than Graduation|
May 5, 2014
By JACK BOGACZYK
The two Marshall football seniors also are the Thundering Herd's top pro prospects, and if they are selected in the 79th annual NFL Draft, it is likely to happen Saturday when Rounds 4-7 are held in New York, starting at noon.
Earlier that day, the two former Herd stars will receive their undergraduate degrees in MU's Graduation ceremony at Big Sandy Superstore Arena.
"And don't forget, Sunday is Mother's Day," Scott said Monday.
Hoskins, who was stellar and a touchdown machine for the Herd at tight end, is projected as a fullback by NFL interests. He is ranked as the No. 6 fullback prospect by NFL Draft Scout (CBSSports.com). Scott, a three-year starter at offensive tackle, is listed as the No. 20 prospect at his position. Both are projected as seventh-rounders or free agent signees.
And while both hope to hear their names called from the podium Radio City Music Hall as the 39th and 40th NFL Draft picks in Marshall history, they seem locks as free agent signees if they aren't drafted.
"The teams I've talked to are telling me middle to late rounds, or possibly free agent (signee)," the 6-foot-5, 307-pound Scott said. "It doesn't matter to me. You just go with the flow. Getting a chance to play in the NFL is what's most important."
If they get the call, they'll get it here in Huntington. Both will walk at Graduation on Saturday morning, among eight players in Coach Doc Holliday's program getting degrees this spring. Their visiting parents - Harold and Percyette Hoskins and the Rev. Randolph and Tina Scott - will watch their sons get diplomas, too.
Scott played 1,007 snaps in the Herd's 10-4 season capped by a convincing Military Bowl victory over Maryland. He graded 99 percent on assignments and had an 82 percent success rate with 56 knockdowns, and allowed only one-half sack with four penalties in 14 games.
Both players agree their mothers will think graduation is the biggest deal of Saturday - and even larger than this particular Mother's Day -- no matter what happens at the draft.
How do they think?
"Aw, man, that's a tough one right there," said Gainesville, Fla., native Hoskins when asked whether an NFL selection or MU graduation would be biggest to him. "The NFL has been a dream of mine since I was in high school. Graduating, though, is very important, and it means a lot.
If at least one of the two players is selected, it will mark a fourth straight year Holliday's program has had a draft pick, following tight end Lee Smith, defensive end Vinny Curry and wide receiver Aaron Dobson.
Hoskins and Scott have been getting plenty of attention from NFL clubs in recent weeks, too.
Scott has visited five clubs - Cincinnati, Oakland, Kansas City, Miami and Tampa Bay - and had workouts here for Seattle and San Diego. The tackle said of those teams, the Bengals have shown the most interest, with Scott getting some personal attention from Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson.
The 6-foot-2, 253-pound Hoskins, who was selected for the 2014 Senior Bowl but didn't get an NFL Combine opportunity, said he and his agent have been fielding calls "from 8-12 teams ... It's kind of hard to say who's most interested. I just want to get an opportunity somewhere."
Scott, from Douglas, Ga., made 35 career starts at tackle for the Herd.
"The teams I've visited have told me they like my athleticism," Scott said when asked for a personal NFL scouting report. "They say they like my versatility, and that I could fit at tackle or guard. They've said I need to improve on some things, like getting to the second level (blocking linebackers).
"Coach (Alex) Mirabal (Marshall offensive line coach), he pretty much told me just to work and it would work out for me. He said, `There's nothing you can't do.' That's how I kind of approach it.
"I've had a dream of playing in the NFL since I was a little kid. It doesn't matter to me where I go, doesn't matter to me at all. I just want to be able to play football."
Hoskins finished his Marshall career with 99 receptions for 1,318 yards and 28 touchdowns, which ranks third in Herd history behind Randy Moss and Darius Watts. He prospered last season - 50 catches, one more than he had combined as a sophomore and junior - from Marshall's move in playing the tight end as an H-back, lining Hoskins up in the slot to take advantage of the defense.
"Fullback (in the NFL) might be a little different, but I know football, so I can do it," Hoskins said. "I was disappointed I didn't get to the Combine, but you deal with it, and I had a good Pro Day (at Marshall in March).
"They (NFL teams) kind of look at me as someone who can catch the ball out of the backfield, another weapon for the offense, a guy who can line up in the slot or come out of the backfield and get a mismatch on a linebacker with my speed and my ability to catch the ball."
Hoskins was a quarterback and wide receiver in high school. At Marshall, he grew into a star at tight end, displaying an uncanny ability to catch Rakeem Cato passes in the red zone, and providing the kind of hands and footwork on sideline routes usually not seen in a tight end.
"Growing up, I never even thought I'd play tight end in college, and so there's no way I ever saw myself as a fullback," Hoskins said. "Since high school, I've wanted a chance to play in the NFL. I think the fact I had a really good year (2013) at Marshall helped me a lot."
And if they aren't called during the draft, they are sure they will get free agent-signee calls soon after, hoping to take the route ex-Herd stars like Doug Legursky and Omar Brown took to Super Bowl teams.
"This weekend is going to be big," Scott said. "I'm anxious about it. We want to get a chance to build on the Marshall name in the NFL."
Note: The first NFL Draft was held in 1936.