Max Hoskins was in Italy when he received a phone call from Iowa staff.
Hoskins, a Salem (Ore.) Blanchet Catholic School product, was in Italy for his brother’s art school graduation a few weeks ago. Hoskins’ brother is one of the country’s top artists and was recruited to attend art school overseas.
So, while Hoskins was visiting his brother in Italy, the Hawkeyes presented him with a prime opportunity to join the program’s class of 2022 as a punter.
How did all this happen?
In June, Hoskins attended Lindenwood Mega Camp, one of the premier summer showcase camps, in St. Louis. More than 50 D1 coaches were present for the camp and Hoskins worked with the specialists.
One of the coaches in the crowd was the Iowa special teams coordinator LeVar Woodwho was the first to search for Hoskins.
“We were doing live snaps and I was directional,” Hoskins told 247Sports. “All the coaches were watching and I performed well and how I would have liked. From there I met LeVar Wood and we started talking. He loved me and I really loved him, and the rest was history.
Hoskins made an unofficial visit to Iowa a few weeks later to meet with the coaches and see what the Hawkeyes have to offer. He also received a preferred offer from Washington State, although he felt that if the Hawkeyes presented themselves with an opportunity, it would be one he could not pass up.
Iowa’s special teams play over the past two years has stood out for Hoskins. When the Hawkeyes began expressing interest, he was well aware of what Woods had done during his time in Iowa City and the importance of special teams to the Iowa program succeeding.
“As a pundit, I like to stay on top of it all,” Hoskins said. “[Iowa punter] Tory Taylor, I know he’s one of the best in the country and the Big Ten. It’s pretty amazing that I share a specialist’s room with him and learn from him. LeVar Wood is, I think, the best special teams coach in the country. He’s a great guy, a great coach, and one of the big factors is that I saw myself growing there and becoming a good bettor.
“It was Coach Woods [that played a major role for me in picking Iowa]. It was such a family atmosphere there and once I left I remember telling my dad that it was my home. The campus was beautiful and I didn’t even feel like I was far from Oregon. It was as if I was at home. It was something I hadn’t experienced on other campuses and that’s when I knew I had to be a Hawkeye.
The Iowa staff liked that Hoskins was a 2022 prospect and not a transfer, so he has plenty of time to develop in the program.
Here are some clips of him dabbling in the past two months.
—Max Hoskins (@maxhoskins6) June 10, 2022
Here’s a 54 and 45 yard punt from live snaps. I had fun and met some great coaches. Love the competition!@ThePuntFactory @Chris_Sailer
??Bettor 2022 – Always available 503-932-5316 pic.twitter.com/g4mmgYsxmF
—Max Hoskins (@maxhoskins6) June 5, 2022
Woods has let it be known that he thinks Hoskins has a high ceiling in Iowa City. The only punters on the roster are Tory Taylor and Nick Phelps, so Hoskins will be able to come in and learn from those guys during the development stages.
“He could see me really growing as a punter, which I also really like because we all train to be the best, but you really want to get better,” Hoskins said. “He sold me that he was going to make me better and I really liked that.
How did Hoskins get into punting?
Well, he played college football for all four years of high school. Hoskins’ high school wasn’t big, so he was one of the best players on the court since his freshman season. In the four years, Hoskins started both ways and kicked some field goals as well due to his football background.
However, Hoskins’ side weren’t scoring much, so his kicking ability was not being used. That said, in his sophomore year he tried the punt and he never looked back.
Now, Hoskins has committed to a college football program that is known to be one of the best special teams units in the nation.
“I like to describe myself as a punting athlete,” Hoskins said. “I can do anything. If you need me to jump in and punt, I’m your man. If you need me to stay in the pocket and hit a bomb, I can do that too. When I tell coaches my style, I tell them I can do a bit of everything.
“I’m still in disbelief. It’s such a blessing to me. It’s crazy.”
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