Overall actions make Trent Hosick a leader

KANSAS CITY -- Trent Hosick (Kansas City, Mo./Staley) is one of those players who inadvertently understand there’s a spectrum within anything relevant.

Ask Hosick about his team, and he’ll give an exceptional report, only to follow it up with some important needs for improvement. Ask Hosick about himself, and the discussion focuses more on how to better his weaknesses rather than the positives – and there are many positives.

What makes Hosick, a junior quarterback and a rising name among the Class of 2013’s elite players, so intriguing is that while he talks about being an improved player, he makes sure everyone around him knows he’s also a leader by example. It’s that all-around mission to be the best that has helped him lead Staley to the Missouri Class 5 state semifinals, which kick off Friday.

“We’re excited as a team to be so close to what we’ve worked so hard for,” said Hosick, a 6-foot-2, 221-pound quarterback. “At the same time, we’re not there yet. We’re on our way to achieving our goal, and this is just another step in the way.”

Physically, Hosick has the tools to be the quintessential leader for Staley. He’s built like a linebacker yet runs like a receiver. With a 370-pound bench press and 530-pound squat, he’s just as strong as most offensive linemen.

It’s Hosick’s mental capacity, however, that tends to separate him from others. As a junior, Hosick makes it a priority to be a step ahead when trying to find ways to help his team. Case in point, there aren’t many high school quarterbacks in the country who voluntarily participated in mandatory coaches meetings in an effort to brainstorm and break down play schemes for and against their teams.

“We do most of our game planning on Sunday, and when he found out when we’d meet, he asked to sit in on that,” Staley coach Fred Bouchard said. “I thought that’d be awesome. He’s had a thirst to be a part of that and to hear what we’re talking about when we break down the fronts we’ll see and the matchup advantages and disadvantages. He’s able to use and sort that knowledge very well. It’s been pretty impressive.”

Hosick added: “We were in the weight room when I first asked [Bouchard], and he said it’d be a great idea. I go in with the offensive coaches after they’ve all met together. I knew not to say very much the first time, and I still don’t say much, but it is neat. A quarterback is the one position that’s closest to a coach. You have to coach on the field and facilitate drives.”

Hosick is a legitimate dual-threat option, and the extra work on and off the field has been pivotal in Staley’s 12-0 record. Hosick has rushed for 1,702 yards and 21 touchdowns in Staley’s run-oriented offense, but he also has thrown for 1,221 yards and nine touchdowns and has completed 64 percent of his passes.

Though he has no offers yet, Hosick has made an impression on several scouts. He has received interest from Pittsburgh, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Michigan State, Stanford, Iowa and Iowa State, in addition to close schools Missouri, Kansas and Kansas State.

Part of Hosick’s success stems from his upbringing. Hosick was home-schooled growing up, and part of his curriculum involved a session called “leadership training.” Hosick’s parents taught him how to not only be a collected leader in the most critical situations but also take responsibility for the positives and negatives that are done.

The session also seemed to teach Hosick about logistics. When he did something, he always asked cause-and-effect questions as a means for complete comprehension.

“Growing up, I’ve always been a player that wanted to know not only what to do but why I was doing it,” Hosick said. “At a position like quarterback, I think it’s important to understand what everybody is doing on every play and why. Coach says not to see the tree but the whole forest.”

Bouchard added: “With some players, their cup runneth over, but I don’t know if I can ever fill [Hosick’s] cup. He’s got this incredible desire and thirst to learn. If he’s not working on it academically from the shoulders up, he’s working on it physically to make sure his body is prepared for the rigors.”

Hosick as a junior has earned total respect from his upperclassmen as well as the younger teammates, and he is looking forward to leading his team against an equally talented squad in Lee’s Summit (Mo.) West in Friday’s semifinal. West features three college commits in three-star, South Dakota-bound defensive end Chris Wiseman, two-star, Iowa State-bound quarterback Luke Knott and four-star Under Armour All-American and Missouri commit Evan Boehm.

West is the defending state champion, but Hosick has confidence in his team advancing to the state final. If Staley is fortunate, look for the team to briefly celebrate – and then have Hosick interrupt to bring the team back to an even keel.

Let him tell it, that’s what a leader does.

“There’s always things I’m wanting to grow in,” Hosick said. “There are things I don’t know, and that’s why I go to coaches meetings and read books from great leaders like Tony Dungy and John Maxwell. I’m continuing to strive to learn, because I’m not where I want to be yet. We’re not where we want to be yet.”