Interview conducted by Chris Monter
Kristen Hoskins, a 5-foot-9 rising senior wide receiver from Alexandria (MN) High, became the first in-state Gopher football commit when he verballed to Minnesota February.
Hoskins is a multi-sport standout, who helped lead Alexandria to the Class AAA boy’s basketball title game where they faced power Minnehaha Academy. The Cardinals had to rally from a 13-point second half deficit to defeat Richfield 66-64 in the semifinals. Myles Sansted was fouled on a three-point attempt with the Cardinals trailed 64-61 with 11.4 second left. Sansted made the first two free throws, but missed the third. However, a teammate grabbed the offensive rebound and passed the ball to Sansted in the corner, who made the game-winning three-pointer.
GopherHole caught up with Hoskins June 13th at the Breakdown Summer Series to learn the latest on his recent visit to Minnesota and upcoming senior year.
Gopher Hole: Good thing P.J. Fleck wasn’t here to watch you playing basketball with your high school team. You made three straight three-pointers without hitting the rim and he might have been worried about losing you to the basketball team.
Kristen Hoskins: Yes, sir. This is a sport I do. I love it. I got passion for it and I just keep playing hard.
Gopher Hole: Obviously, you are a multi-sport athlete. How much do you think that helps you for football?
Kristen Hoskins: It truly does. Working different things on the body. Basketball, it keeps me in shape. Keep my legs going and just keep me in shape. I’m doing the things I love, so I’m having fun doing it.
Gopher Hole: Do you also think that it helps you not get burned out on football as a one-sport guy?
Kristen Hoskins: Yes, staying active. I shoot for fun, Do all this extra stuff. It just keeps me active and I’m ready for anything.
Gopher Hole: You guys had a great basketball season. What do you remember from that Richfield semifinal game?
Kristen Hoskins: Man, I just remember the last ten seconds of the game, thinking he just missed that free throw and I don’t know what to think. We missed the free throw, got the ball in the corner and it just gave me chills, making that shot. I truly do think that we have a shot this season for it, too.
Gopher Hole: Was there ever a moment where you were thinking that your season might be done, to be honest?
Kristen Hoskins: It truly was. That game, I’m not going to lie, I lost faith, but our coach said “Keep trusting your teammates. Stay motivated,” and we did that and look what happened at the end of the game.
Gopher Hole: Obviously, you have a lot of talented players back. Is the goal to get even farther this upcoming season?
Kristen Hoskins: It truly is. We lost a true leader on our team. We lost three seniors, I believe, but with the group we have, we have a group of experienced boys and we are going to push everyone in practice and games and it is going to be good for us. We’re excited.
Gopher Hole: I know that you were down at the U recently for their football camps. What was that experience like?
Kristen Hoskins: I just had my visit this Friday, but the camp weas amazing. Being around the coaches. Being around the players. Doing drills I don’t usually do in Alexandria, so it was really nice.
Gopher Hole: Seems like you have also built a good relationship with Jacob (Knuth), your quarterback? Is it nice that you have built that relationship already?
Kristen Hoskins: Yes, sir. It truly is. He is a great kid. I can’t wait. We are going to room together. We talk every day, just checking in and I am excited to be with Jacob.
Gopher Hole: What things are you really working on to continue to improve yourself as a football player?
Kristen Hoskins: Footwork. My speed is already there. Talking to (Coach) Simon. Talking to (Head Coach) Fleck. Getting comfortable with my footwork, that’s a big thing for me.
Gopher Hole: Seeing some of the pictures I have seen, it appears that you have a really good relationship with the coaches, especially Coach Fleck What is that like?
Kristen Hoskins: The thing that sticks out with me with Fleck, is he’s not just a football coach. He’s a life coach. He cares about you as an individual and it just sticks out to me because we wasn’t talking all about football. He knows my ability. He was talking to me about life and that really stuck out to me and I really respect that guy.