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Hosea signs to play football for Franklin College

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Friday afternoon in the Fieldhouse, New Castle senior Evan Hosea signed a letter of intent to play football for Franklin College beginning this fall. In the front row, left to right, are mother Teresa Hosea, Evan Hosea, and father David Hosea. In the back row, left to right, are NCHS Assistant Coach James Allen, NCHS Head Football Coach Kyle York, and NCHS Assistant Coach Erik Jergensen.
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After blocking for quarterback Niah Williamson (12), New Castle offensive lineman Evan Hosea (73) watches Williamson move up the field during last September’s 62-55 high school football victory in overtime for the Trojans at Yorktown. Hosea will be playing football for Franklin College this fall, as he signed a letter of intent to do so Friday afternoon in the Fieldhouse.

By DAVID RISLEY - drisley@thecouriertimes.com

New Castle High School senior football player Evan Hosea has taken the next step forward in his life even though high school graduation still is more than two and a half months away.

Friday afternoon in the Fieldhouse, Hosea signed a letter of intent to play football for Franklin College beginning this fall. Hosea follows in the steps of former teammate Robby Witham, who also is a football player for the Grizzlies.

“I started talking to Coach Dan Watson at Franklin last spring,” Hosea said, “and he seemed really interested in me. Another thing was that Franklin has great academic programs, and I just felt it was the right place for me. I had talked to DePauw some and with Anderson University for track and field, but I’m satisfied with my choice.”

Hosea, who is a solid student, seems to have a good idea of what he wants to major in and what career he wants top pursue upon college graduation.

“I plan to major in biology with a focus on ecology and conservation and maybe minor in criminal justice or economics,” Hosea explained. “When I graduate, I want to get a job with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and later work for the National Parks Service.”

One nice thing about being an offensive lineman is there may be more opportunities to play varsity as a freshman or sophomore than there are at other positions such as quarterback or running back.

“Big guys who can block and open holes are always needed,” Hosea said. “The coach down there told me he plans to use me at either tackle or guard, and either position is fine with me. But I’m not guaranteed anything. I’ll need to put in the hard work and study needed to master the position.”

Even if Hosea doesn’t get a lot of time playing at the varsity level his freshman season, he still will be playing.

“They have sort of a junior varsity team down there called the gold squad,” Hosea said. “It is for freshman and sophomore guys who don’t get to play in the varsity games on Saturday. They play in games against other colleges the following Monday, and there are four of those games.”

Hosea played primarily offensive line (tackle) for the Trojans and was quite good at his craft. Hosea and his other teammates in the trenches were park of a group that blocked for the state’s leading passer in total yardage, senior Niah Williamson, who threw the pigskin for 4,056 yards and 45 touchdowns during the 2017 season in which New Castle finished 6-5, its first winning season in 33 years.

Hosea did, on occasion, get to play some defense. Last fall, Hosea had four tackles (two solo), and in his sophomore season of 2015, he recorded a couple of tackles.

Almost all football coaches will say their offense is only as good as their offensive line, and the Trojans had a good one in 2017.

“Evan was part of a group of senior linemen that included Tommy Witham, Garrett House, and Dalton Hicks who really played well on the offensive line for us last season,” New Castle football head Coach Kyle York said. “I’m sure Niah would be the first person to say he couldn’t do much of anything without the protection from his linemen.”

York was Hosea’s coach for only one season, but he sees a lot of things that make Hosea a very good football player.

“Evan is big,” York said, “but he’s also pretty quick and moves well. One of the biggest assets he has is the type of individual he is. He’s a really good student and works very hard. He’s not a real vocal leader, but leads by example and his teammates respect him. It’s going to be very difficult to replace him and the other seniors on the line.”

York, having been a college football coach, knows that it’s a big step up from high school to college.

“It doesn’t matter what football division you’re in,” York explained. “The difference between high school and college is huge. First of all, a lot of guys are on their own for the first time without someone telling them what to do. They have to learn to balance their time between academics, practicing and playing, and still getting enough rest for their body. A lot of guys are able to handle it, but some struggle with it. I think Evan has the perfect temperament to handle it. He’a a level-headed guy who has a plan for his life.”

Hosea, who also is on the Trojan track team, already has been informed of Franklin’s summer plans for him leading up to his first day of college classes.

“There is a summer workout program for football players at Franklin,” Hosea added, “and it is online. We are supposed to follow it every day. I report down at Franklin on August 10 and there are two weeks of practice before school starts. I’m excited and almost can’t wait to get started.”

York is happy for Hosea and his college choice.

“I’ll really miss Evan and the other seniors,” York added, “but everyone moves on to their next chapter in life. He made a really good choice. We have four or five other seniors who plan to sign this spring and I’m happy I got to be their coach for at least a year.”