YSU’s ex-quarterback Hosick recovers from severe injury to give safety a shot
By Brian Dzenis
Trent Hosick didn’t have to come back to the football team this year.
After a broken collarbone ended his career as a quarterback last October, he could have started the transition to life as a normal student. Youngstown State would have honored his scholarship.
But that’s not how Hosick wants to go out.
“I think there’s something to be said for finishing what you started. The idea was that I would come out and do what I can for team,” Hosick said. “I feel like when I broke my collarbone, I couldn’t be the player that coach [Bo Pelini] wanted or expected me to be.
“I feel like I owed it to him to give this another shot to be worthy of the scholarship,” Hosick said.
Hosick will play out his senior season as a safety.
During the Oct. 15 game against Northern Iowa, Hosick was shoved to the ground at the end of a 28-yard run. That play spelled the end of using his right arm to throw a football. He missed the Penguins’ run to the national championship and a lot of school while recovering.
“I wasn’t able to move for a while. I wasn’t able to lay down for six weeks — I was just sitting in a chair,” Hosick said. “I couldn’t get up to go to the bathroom. I couldn’t eat and I lost a ton of weight.
“Most collarbone breaks are just one break and guys are back in six-to-eight weeks, but mine was a different deal,” Hosick said. “It was a compound fracture and it was broken in three places and they had to do an experimental surgery on it because of the severity of the damage.”
He was only approved to go back to practice on Aug. 1. He dresses for practice, but sees little action on the field. The arrangement was set up by Pelini and defensive backs coach Richard McNutt, who knows what it’s like to be in Hosick’s shoes.
McNutt’s Ohio State football career was cut short in 2002 when chronic ankle injuries rendered him medically unfit to play. Former Buckeyes coach and current YSU president Jim Tressel let McNutt stay on as a student coach, spring boarding him to the job he holds today.
“I couldn’t play anymore and Coach Tressel gave me the opportunity to stay a part of the team and get involved in coaching,” McNutt said. “Just because you can’t play doesn’t mean there isn’t a role for you.”
Physically, Hosick has the pedigree for the physical aspect of playing defense. In his Staley High School days, he made plays mostly with his legs as a quarterback in a triple-option offense. He also is a Missouri state champion in wrestling.
But seeing the field from the perspective of a defender has been an eye-opening experience.
“I wish I knew what I know now when I was playing quarterback. It would have helped me a lot,” Hosick said.
Hosick, who aspires to coach the game himself, has found himself in awe of the system created by Pelini and his brother and defensive coordinator, Carl Pelini.
“I don’t want to give too much away, but the concept is we’re all helping one another. Everybody except the defensive line plays every position,” Hosick said. “Defensive backs are linebackers, linebackers are defensive backs and we interchangeably work this masterpiece of a puzzle that keeps moving.”
Hosick views the past year as one of the most eye-opening and humbling experiences of his life.
“It was rough. It was one of the toughest things I’ve ever been through, but the Lord has a way of humbling us,” Hosick said. “The Bible says pride always comes before a fall. I believe the Lord used it to humble me and help me make sure my priorities are where they needed to be.”