Damien Hoyt made his verbal commitment to Colgate University before the start of the high school football pre-season workouts. On Wednesday, the Homer Central School senior made it official by signing his letter of intent to join the Raiders’ program in the fall of 2019.
Hoyt is the first Homer football player to head to Colgate since 1987 graduate Mike Jasper, who had a solid college career. Jasper was a co-captain of the 1991 Raider squad.
“It feels so great,” Hoyt said. “After this year ends, I’ll be starting a new chapter in my life. I know my next four years will be set. I look forward to using all the assets and resources I can there to reach the next goals in my life.”
“This is great for Damien and his parents,” Homer football coach Gary Podsiedlik said. “Colgate has a great tradition and is one of the oldest programs in the nation. Damien wanted to be a part of this and he’s excited to get this opportunity. He is a great student-athlete and will do very well there.”
At 6-foot-5 and 315 pounds, Hoyt stood out on the offensive line at left tackle all through high school. That was just one thing that caught the eye of Colgate head coach Dan Hunt and assistant coach Terry Dow, who recruited Hoyt.
“The first thing was his size,” Hunt said. “Second was how well he moved. Not many high school guys have that combination on the offensive line and that’s what we look for. He is strong, relentless and physical. He fits the bill of what we want to do on our offensive line, which is run the ball. We had nothing but good reports from his coaches and the school officials about Damien.
“On paper, he will be a tackle for us. He is quick enough that he could play guard, but all our linemen cross-train for multiple positions so we will see where the final need will be to get him on the field.”
Hoyt will make the official visit as a signee Jan. 26, and during his final semester at Homer this spring he will attend as many of Colgate’s spring practices as possible to get a head start on his collegiate career.
“I want to get to as many practices I can to start learning more of what I will need to do,” Hoyt said. “In the summer I will continue training and study film before starting practice early in August at Colgate.”
“He came to all the home games this fall,” Hunt said. “It will be good to have him at as many spring practices as he can make, even though he can’t officially practice with us. He will still pick up things and learn a lot by watching. That’s one of the traits we like about Damien. He’s smart and he wants to learn. I think he will have a great career with us.”
Colgate went 10-2 this past season, won the Patriot League title and ended the season in the NCAA FCS quarterfinals, losing to perennial power North Dakota State 35-0. North dakota State will face Eastern Washington Jan. 5 for the FCS Championship.
“I want to live up to the expectations that Colgate had this season,” Hoyt said. “The seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen accomplished so much and all of us coming in as new recruits want to help carry on the tradition of the program.”
“That is the type of kid we want,” Hunt said. “Damien is the type of kid to help us continue our tradition.”