Trent Hosick's decision to transfer from Missouri left many in the Tiger fanbase wondering what could have been. The 6-foot-1, 225-pound quarterback signed with Mizzou as a three-star prospect in the 2013 class, rated as a top-20 dual-threat passer. With 13 offers to his credit, from the likes of Arizona State, Arkansas, and Baylor, he chose the Tigers and Gary Pinkel's record of success developing QBs.
Hosick arrived on campus in January of 2013, focused on becoming a multi-year starter, and the first QB ever to leave Columbia a national champion. 17 months later, the Kansas City (MO) Staley product found himself on a plane to Provo, Utah, in search of a new start.
"Any player would be looking for the same things," Hosick said of his official visit to BYU. "But especially in my situation, being a transfer, the number-one thing you are looking for is a coaching staff that buys into you, as a player and a person. The message we got from Coach Mendenhall and the entire coaching staff is they believe the offense is tailor-made for what I can bring, and they are just as excited about me coming out there as I am."
The Cougars commit paused for a moment, adding, "That's a really wonderful thing."
Hosick is one of the most prolific offensive players to come out of Kansas City in the past decade. As a junior, he led the Falcons to the Class 5 State Championship with nearly 3,500 yards of total offense, including over 2,000 yards and 31 touchdowns on the ground. His final year at Staley brought more balance, as he threw for 1,566 yards, ran for 1,275 more, and scored 32 TDs.
Given Hosick's skills as a dual-threat, he believes offensive coordinator Robert Anae's system is a great fit.
"Number one, it's an extremely fast-paced offense," he said of the BYU attack. "I love the aspect of go fast, go hard, and break the will of the other team. Not just scoring points and putting up yards, but just pounding on them."
"They put a lot of the decision making on the quarterback," Hosick continued. "Whether he wants to keep it, hand it off, throw it, run an option with it, a lot of the decisions for the offense are made by the quarterback. As someone that has always loved training and loved preparing, if there was a burden to be placed on someone, I wanted it on me."
The Mizzou transfer isn't your average college athlete. Hosick's faith is a central part of his life. Though he isn't of the Mormon faith, he found a great deal of common ground with the Cougars.
"The vision of Coach Mendenhall and the entire BYU coaching staff," he said of the tenth-year head coach, "proving to people you don't have to sacrifice character to be a good football team. I believe that winning in whatever you want to do, sports or academics or whatever it is, to win, you do it with excellence. The people in Provo believe you pursue excellence in life, and the winning will take care of itself."
The feeling he got from the Cougars coaching staff was much like that from the current BYU players.
"When I got to talk with Terrance Alletto, Mitch Juergens, and Nick Kurtz, and see what kind of strong men they were," Hosick said of his future teammates, "it solidified in my mind that BYU was where I needed to be. Not just for football, but to solidify the other areas of my life."
After leaving Mizzou, Hosick's next stop will be the junior college ranks and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. After meeting with Norsemen head coach Ryan Held, he was sold on the move to the Sooner State.
"As a competitor, I didn't want to throw away a year of eligibility," Hosick said of the opportunity to play in 2014. "When I talked to Coach Mendenhall, we both agreed it would be better for my development and BYU for me to get game-time reps, even if it was at the junior college level. It was the right choice for me, because of Coach Held and the entire coaching staff, and the guys on the team think like champions. I'm going to help those guys get to the four year programs of their choice, and the best way to do that is by winning a national championship."
As Hosick left Columbia for the last time this week, the BYU commit couldn't help but think about his move to Provo in January.
"For me, and for my family, the best part of my trip was getting to know the people around BYU. Getting to see they are like minded people, and that they value the same things we value. That was one of the big reasons we chose BYU. It will be wonderful to be part of a program that was built on same things I was raised to buy into."