Two UMass football commits eye potential basketball career

By Mark Chiarelli

(Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian)
(Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian)

NEW YORK — The Massachusetts football team announced its 2015 recruiting class today, but two of its newest members may have a prospective athletic career on the hardwood, too.

UMass coach Mark Whipple told reporters that incoming recruits James Sosinski (quarterback) and Artavious Lynn (tight end) are interested in also playing basketball. It’s something he discussed with men’s basketball coach Derek Kellogg, and Kellogg was receptive to the idea.

“We talked about that and (Whipple) pretty much has an open door policy with the kids he recruits,” Kellogg said.

“We could use a little football toughness out there …We’ll see. Let’s get them on campus and see what they can do. We can always use some bodies.”

Sosinski, who is 6-foot-7, 240 pounds, plays both football and basketball for Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona. He threw for 2,483 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior and, according to Whipple, is averaging 23 points per game as a basketball player.

Lynn is a 6-foot-6, 205-pound tight end and forward at Parkway High School in Bossier City, Louisiana. According to his UMass bio, Lynn possesses an exceptional ability to jump for the football at its highest point, something that can translate to the basketball court.

Preliminarily, the idea is that once football season ends, the pair would then switch over to basketball.

Whipple said Sosinski received basketball scholarship offers from a number of mid-major schools.

“We talked to Derek early on,” Whipple said. “That wasn’t the overriding reason (Sosinki chose UMass). He didn’t have any Pac 12 basketball offers, but he had some interest from some smaller schools.”

Kellogg said he hasn’t seen much from either player and deferred to Whipple’s knowledge of their overall athletic ability.

“I’ll just talk to (Whipple) about it,” Kellogg said. “I’m sure he’s watched them play basketball and knows what they can do. They’ll be some tape on YouTube or the internet and we’ll go peeking.

But right now, when the season’s over, me and (Whipple) will have coffee and talk about all his football guys who are going to play hoops,” Kellogg said with a laugh.

Mark Chiarelli can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Mark_Chiarelli.