"What happens to you when you get down in that red zone, score-zone area, normally that third wideout or slot receiver, which happens to be Gator, at lot of a times gets matched up on a linebacker or a strong safety, which becomes a little bit of a mismatch," Holliday said. "He's athletic for a big-body guy, and he can body up against people and go make plays."
Hoskins has gained weight to 244 pounds and has gotten more physical, but he has developed in other ways.
"Here's a kid who played quarterback, then played a little bit of free safety," Legg said. "We brought him in here and said, 'Look, we're going to try you out at wide receiver,' because he had great ball skills and offensive mindset. He spent six to nine months in the weight room and the next thing you know he was 225 instead of 205.
"Coming from where I've been and running the system we run, I felt that he would be the perfect fit for what we wanted to do with our tight-end position. I don't know how enthused he was [on] day one, but as time has gone by he's bought in and he's worked hard. It's paid dividends for him."
The other semifinalists are Jace Amaro of Texas Tech, Ted Bolser of Indiana, Eric Ebron of North Carolina, Devin Funchess of Michigan, Troy Niklas of Notre Dame, Nick O'Leary of Florida State and Austin Seferian-Jenkins of Washington.
The three finalists will be announced Monday, with the award winner unveiled Dec. 11 and honored Dec. 12 at the College Football Awards Show.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.