Eastside athletes doing well at collegiate level
Published: Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 11:49 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 11:49 a.m.
Three former Eastside High School athletes recently received honors for their athletic efforts at the collegiate level.
Chloe Mann, a 2009 Eastside graduate and current middle blocker on the University of Florida volleyball team, was named a 2012 First Team All-American last week by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
And also last week, Harold "Gator" Hoskins, a 2010 Eastside graduate and current starting tight end on the Marshall University football team in Huntington, W.Va., was named to the Phil Steele College Football Review All Conference-USA First Team.
Another former Ram, Devonta Mosley, a 2012 Eastside graduate, is starting his basketball career off with a bang at Mitchell College in New London, Conn., by being named, twice this season, the New England Collegiate Conference Rookie of the Week.
Below is an update on Hoskins, Mann, Mosley, and other former Eastside athletes Donald Buie, Lu'is McLeod, Deion McNair, Rodney Mills and Lindsay Smith.
Buie, a 6'2," 196-pound sophomore football defensive back who graduated from Eastside in 2011, saw action in 10 of 11 games on defense and special teams for Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C. He recorded one interception.
Hoskins, a 6'2," 240-pound junior football player, also was named the National Tight End of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards following his performance on Sept. 29 at Purdue University, when he caught four passes for 42 yards and three touchdowns. He is also a first team selection by CollegeSportsMadness.com, and a second team pick by the C-USA coaches.
He had 10 touchdown catches this season, the most in the nation for tight ends, and a mark that is tied for the most in the history of C-USA. His 72-yard touchdown catch against Tulsa was the Herd's longest play of the season. He was also named to the John Mackey Award Watch List, an annual award given to the nation's top collegiate tight end.
"I am pleased with the season I had this year, and I am going to work on my blocking, route running and speed to have an even better senior year," said Hoskins, who is recovering from shoulder surgery.
Mann, a 6'2" junior, is also the 2012 SEC Player of the Year and a First Team All-SEC selection as a volleyball player at the University of Florida. She led the Gators with a .444 hitting percentage, best in the nation, and put down 380 kills this year. Mann led Florida with 1.15 blocks/set, good for third in the SEC.
For her career, she has 532 kills on a .455 hitting clip and is on track to break Florida's career hitting percentage record by the end of her senior season. She is a two-time SEC Offensive Player of the Week selection, once in both 2011 and 2012.
She was also named MVP of the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational earlier in the season.
Mosley, a 6'6" freshman basketball forward at Mitchell in Conneticut, was named Rookie of the Week in the NECC last week following a game against Connecticut College, where he scored nine points in 23 minutes of action. He made four of nine shots in the game and had a rebound and an assist. Mosley previously won the honor the week of Nov. 26.
He said he has had to adjust to how big and fast college players are than high school players and to the speed of the game in college because of the shot clock, which forces the offense to shoot the ball in 35 seconds.
Mosley said he has gained 10-15 pounds of muscle in order to compete with the bigger players. He also said playing for coach Pop Williams at Eastside, whom he led to the FHSAA Region II championship game earlier this year, prepared him well for college.
"Just how tough he was on us all the time in practice has made the move to college easier for me," said Mosley, who scored his season high of 20 points on Nov. 27 against Albertus Magnus College. "Plus, a lot of the drills we did in practice at Eastside, I am seeing them pay off now."
McLeod, a 2008 Eastside graduate, graduated on Dec. 7 from Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss., with a bachelor's degree in recreation administration. The 6'4," 330-pound McLeod ended his college football career starting two consecutive years at defensive tackle after starting his career at offensive guard for the Tigers. He was selected as a member of Phil Steele's 2010 preseason All-Southwest Athletic Conference second team and he said he finished this season with 45 tackles and four sacks.
McLeod said he will prepare for the NFL draft by training with professional trainers in either Miami or Atlanta.
He said the highlight of his tenure at Jackson State was beating Grambling State University this year for the last time in his college career.
He also said two of his high school coaches at Eastside, Henry McMillian and Oliver "Dirty Red" Ross, have had a great influence on him attaining the success he has had on the field.
He said he almost quit playing for Jackson State early in his career, but stayed on board because his mother, Bettye McLeod, and sister, Maria Robinson, both of Gainesville, told him it would mean a lot to them if he graduated from the school.
"I didn't like it here at first, but they convinced me to stick it out, and I am glad I did," McLeod said.
McNair, a 2011 Eastside graduate, recently finished his football career at Mississippi Delta Community College in Moorhead, Miss., and has taken recent official recruiting visits to the University of Memphis in Tenn. and Alcorn State University in Lorman, Miss.
McNair, a 6'1," 315-pound defensive tackle, said he will decide soon which university to attend. He also said playing junior college football helped him to learn more about the game and to take his work ethic to a higher level.
"I had a chance to learn how to study film and get coached up on my technique," he said. "I really learned a lot about the game."
Mills, a 2011 Eastside graduate who played primarily on special teams this past football season at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, said the highlight of his season was making a couple of tackles on special teams.
The 6'1," 205-pound freshman said he spent time at linebacker during the season, but expects to be at tight end during spring practice.
Smith, a 2012 Eastside graduate who is currently a freshman volleyball player at Hannibal-LaGrange University in Hannibal, Mo., was named an American Midwest Conference First Team All-Conference member this past season as a freshman.
The 5'8" outside hitter was fourth in the conference with 3.4 kills/set and fifth in the conference with 437 total kills.