Hartley's also appreciated Hoskins' work ethic, considering what he's recovering from. He figures the senior is sore as he goes rep after rep through the drills. But he said Hoskins has not once begged out of a drill or complained about soreness.
"To be honest with you, he's further along than I ever thought he would be at this point," Hartley said.
But Hoskins knows what's at stake. He's in his final year of his Marshall career and emerged last season as quarterback Rakeem Cato's go-to player in the red zone. His 10 touchdown receptions led the team and broke the single-season record for touchdowns by a tight end. He's playing for both his team's immediate future and his own long-term future, so there's no complaining.
"Every day I'm sore," Hoskins said. "Every day every guy out here is probably sore. It's football. You're never going to be 100 percent, but you know you have to be mentally tough."
Hoskins remains tough to defend in the passing game. During Tuesday's practice, he snagged a Blake Frohnapfel pass for a touchdown. He's not only on the watch list for the Mackey Award, presented annually to college football's top tight end, but he's also on several experts' lists of the top NFL prospects out of Conference USA.
With that in mind, Hoskins has welcomed the opportunity to show his toughness and his versatility.
"A lot of teams, NFL teams, scouts, they know I can run out, catch a ball and run a route," Hoskins said. "We just want to give them different looks, to line me up in different places and not just always have to call a pass. Maybe line me up in the backfield and maybe not call a pass, but call a run and I can get it done".
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.r...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.