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Jeff Hostetler
Position(s)
Quarterback
Jersey #(s)
15
Born April 22, 1961 (1961-04-22) (age 48)
Hollsopple, Pennsylvania
Career information
Year(s) 19841998
NFL Draft 1984 / Round: 3 / Pick: 59
College Penn State
West Virginia
Professional teams
Career stats
TD-INT 94-71
Yards 16,430
QB Rating 80.48
Stats at NFL.com
Career highlights and awards

William Jeffrey "Hoss-Piece" Hostetler (born April 22, 1961 in Hollsopple, Pennsylvania) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League for the New York Giants, Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, and Washington Redskins.

Contents

College career

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Penn State

Hostetler started his career at Penn State, where he started two games for the 1980 season. But Todd Blackledge beat him for the job, and Hostetler transferred to West Virginia. Hostetler sat out the 1981 season, due to NCAA transfer rules, while Mountaineers' quarterback Oliver Luck led the Mountaineers to an upset win against the University of Florida in the Peach Bowl.

West Virginia

Hostetler's first game as a Mountaineer was a 41-27 win over the #9 Oklahoma Sooners, when he threw for four touchdowns and 321 yards. The upset victory earned Hostetler Offensive Player of the Week honors from Sports Illustrated. Another big win that '82 season was a week later against the University of Maryland Terrapins, who were led by Boomer Esiason. The Mountaineers won 19–18 against the Top 10 ranked Terps. The Terps lost the game on a two-point conversion, while Hostetler threw for 285 yards and a touchdown. Hostetler led the Mountaineers to the 1982 Gator Bowl, where they lost to Florida State 31–12. Hostetler totaled 1,916 yards with ten touchdown passes that season.[1]

In 1983, Hostetler led the #7 Mountaineers over Big East rival Pitt after a fourth quarter run to beat the Panthers 24–21, the first victory over Pitt in seven years. Hostetler led the game-winning drive that he capped out with a bootleg touchdown run for victory. In the 1983 Hall of Fame Bowl, Hostelter pulled out a come-from-behind 20-16 victory over the University of Kentucky, throwing two touchdowns. Hostetler finished his college career in the 1984 Hula Bowl and in the Japan Bowl. Hostetler threw for 2,345 yards and 16 touchdowns his senior season.[1]

Hostetler's two-year tenure at WVU led him to an 18–6 record under coach Don Nehlen. Hostetler ranks among single-season leaders at WVU in total offense, passing yards, pass completions, pass attempts, touchdown passes and passing efficiency. Hostetler also is the career leader in interception avoidance. Hostetler was named to the WVU all-time roster. In 1998, Hostetler was inducted into the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.

Hostetler was named to the 1984 GTE/CoSIDA academic All-America team and that same year won the National Football Foundation postgraduate scholarship. He was also a fan favorite in Morgantown and inspired a record, "Ole Hoss (The Ballad of West Virginia's Jeff Hostetler)".

Professional career

Hostetler was drafted by the Giants in the third round of the 1984 NFL Draft, where he served as backup to Phil Simms. In his first five seasons, he played sparingly, rarely making an appearance.

However, on December 15, 1990, Simms broke his foot during a game against the Buffalo Bills. The following week, Hostetler, who had thrown only 109 passes in his career for the Giants, took over as the starting quarterback. The Giants won their final two regular seasons games and swept through the playoffs, defeating the Bills in Super Bowl XXV, 20–19. During the game, he completed 20 of 32 passes for 222 yards, with one touchdown and no interceptions. In 2008, ESPN ranked Hostetler's performance #30 for the best quarterback performances in Super Bowl history.

During the summer of 1991, new Giants’ head coach Ray Handley allowed Hostetler to compete with Simms for the starting job. Hostetler eventually beat out Simms for the starting job,[2] winning the season opening Monday night game against the 49ers. Hostetler started 12 games for the Giants in 1991, winning six. However, in his twelfth start against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Hostetler broke his back and missed the rest of the season. Of the games Hostetler started (including the one he didn't finish), the Giants went 7-5. By comparison Simms, who finished the Week 13 win over Tampa Bay, only won once in his four starts after Hostetler's injury (the season finale against the Houston Oilers).

When Hostetler returned from his injury in 1992, he once again was placed in competition with Simms for the starting quarterback position. Simms won the job, but after a Week 4 loss to the Los Angeles Raiders, Hostetler again was pressed into service as Simms suffered a season-ending injury. Again, however, Hostetler was unable to stay healthy and he only managed 9 starts, playing in four more games, and missed three other games with injuries including a concussion. While Hostetler had the best record of any Giants starter in 1992 (5-4), he was not retained by the team following the season and signed with the Los Angeles Raiders to be their starter in 1993.

During his four years as a Raider, Hostetler was voted to his only Pro Bowl, in 1994. He also led them to an impressive 42-24 playoff win over the Denver Broncos in the 1993 season, throwing for 294 yards and three touchdowns. He finished his career with two seasons with the Redskins (1997 and 1998); during his last season he spent much of his time on injured reserve and did not see any playing time.

Hostetler retired with 1,357 of 2,338 completions for 16,430 yards and 94 touchdowns, with 71 interceptions. He also rushed for 1,391 yards and 17 touchdowns. Perhaps most impressive about Hostetler was his ability to perform very well in the post-season. In five playoff games, he completed 72 of 115 passes (62.6 percent) for 1,034 yards, seven touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 112.0 passer rating while going 4-1.

Personal

Hostetler now lives in Morgantown, West Virginia, and owned Hostetler Bagels. He closed his bagel shop in 2005.[3] He also owns a construction company. Hostetler is a descendant of the Amish-Mennonite immigrant, Jacob Hochstetler.

With his wife, Vicky, who is the daughter of former WVU coach Don Nehlen,he has three sons, One (the middle son) attends graduate school at West Virginia University in the sport management program. The other two play football at University High School in Morgantown, West Virginia, where he volunteers as an assistant coach. His youngest son, Tyler Hostetler (b. April 9, 1991), suffered a broken neck in an ATV accident in 1999; Jeff’s desire to spend time with his recovering son was a factor in his decision to end his career.

Hostetler's other son, Justin, plays football for West Virginia where he walked-on to the football team, and plays defensive back. Justin wears the number 16 (Jeff wore 15). One of Hostetler's nephews, Daniel Hostetler, is currently a freshman in college and received a lacrosse scholarship to Georgetown University. Another nephew, Ben Hostetler, is currently a quarterback at Georgetown, and also plays lacrosse. A third nephew, Jonathan Stupar, played tight end at Virginia, and is currently on the roster of the Buffalo Bills.[4] A fourth nephew, Nathan Stupar, is a freshman at Penn State University where he is a standout on special teams for the football team.[5]

Hostetler graduated with a 3.85 GPA in Finance from West Virginia University and was nominated for a Rhodes Scholarship.

See also

References


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