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Holy Cross’ Hoskins signs with Central Conn. as Celestain heads to Monmouth

Holy Cross' Malachi Hoskin (l.) and Lekeith Celestain (r.) sign their National Letters of Intent with Holy Cross President Father Walter Jenkins. Photo by Joseph Staszewski
TimesLedger Newspapers

Signing Day wasn’t all smiles and camera flashes for Holy Cross’s Malachi Hoskins. The senior defensive end faced the decision of switching schools at the last minute.

“Last night and this morning was one of the toughest days I’ve had,” Hoskins said.

The All-Queens honorable mention selection by TimesLedger Newspapers verbally committed to Wagner College last week, but Central Connecticut State called him Tuesday night and offered a better financial package.

It was too much to pass up and he ultimately picked Central Connecticut, signing his national letter of intent Wednesday morning at Holy Cross alongside teammate Lekeith Celestain, who is headed to Monmouth. Both teams play in the Northeast Conference.

“I’m a man of my word. It was hard going back on it, but it’s the best possibility for my family and me,” Hoskins said.

“I’m a man of my word. It was hard going back on it, but it’s the best possibility for my family and me,” Hoskins said. Holy Cross coach Tom Pugh, who had never had a player change his mind on a school at the last minute before, thinks the 6-foot-2 Hoskins will need to bulk up to remain as a defensive end.

“Athletically he is very good, can play a lot of positions, ” Pugh said.

There was no last-minute change for Celestain, a corner back. He was one of Monmouth’s top recruits, but Stony Brook and James Madison backed off. The All-Queens first team selection thought he had a chance to play right away there and liked the school’s broadcasting program.

“It played a big part in my decision,” Celestain said of Monmouth’s loyalty.

Pugh believes a lot of schools missed out on the 6-foot Celestain. He shined defensively, but in the coach’s eyes was hurt numbers-wise as a receiver by the Knights’ run-heavy attack. He could see Celestain getting time as a receiver down the road.

“When they see his ball skills and what he can do, his vertical jump is off the charts,” Pugh said. “I can see a school moving him.”

Queens Signees: Christ the King’s Jordan Fuchs (UConn), James Coleman (Albany) and Beach Channel’s Folorunso Fatukasi (UConn) each made it official with their respective colleges Wednesday. St. Francis Prep’s Joey Troina signed with Wagner College. Former CK stand out Kalief Joyner, now at Cheshire Academy (Conn.), will head to Albany.

Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at Follow him on twitter @cng_staszewski.

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