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Palm Beach's midseason MVP: 'Nobody' outplaying Wake Forest commit Jacob Cosby-Mosley

By Emilee Smarr, Palm Beach Post,


Benjamin track coach Barrett Saunders said it best when it comes to Buccaneer senior football star Jacob Cosby-Mosley.

"Nobody in the state is playing better football than Jacob right now...."

According to national recruiting services like 247Sports, the three-star safety, billed at 6 feet, 185 pounds, doesn't fall in the top 100 of players at his position, or in Florida's class of 2024 recruits.

But when you see Cosby-Mosley in action, his Power Five potential is undeniable.

Just like the possibility that he could play on Sundays.

Cosby-Mosley's film for the 2023 season is highlighted by sprints from the defensive backfield for momentum-shifting plays and creating his own highlight-laden drives on offense. It's enough to make any college recruiter who passed on him reach for the Kleenex box.

It's probably enough to make Wake Forest do the same. After all, which college football team wouldn't cry tears of joy knowing it scooped a recruit who makes one-handed picks with ease?

Brought to you by a 'working man's mindset'

On Sept. 9, at his 18th birthday party, Cosby-Mosley announced his commitment to the Demon Deacons. He celebrated accordingly with a game night, surrounded by the friends and family who've driven him to rise above the adversity that comes with flying under the radar.

"My main source of inspiration has always been my family, setting a good example for my younger siblings, and working through the blueprint that my parents gave me for success has been my main driving force," Cosby-Mosley said.

He grew up working with his dad, Shaun Mosley, currently a repairman at Coastal Middle and High School in Lake Park. It's where his mother, Alysha, serves as principal. They "instilled" a "working man’s mindset to never stop trying and to always be looking to better oneself" in their son.

Now, as he readies for university life in Winston-Salem, Cosby-Mosley is the first in his family to accept a full-ride scholarship.

Why Wake Forest?

Aside from the relief for his parents not having to "worry about any more student loans," there were a number of factors that played into Cosby-Mosley's decision to commit to Wake.

For one, he would share a roster once again with former Benjamin athletes four-star wideout Micah Mays or Santino Marucci. For the first time, he'd be on the same team as friend and former Dwyer defensive end Kerrington Lee.

But the biggest reason the Demon Deacons won Cosby-Mosley is because he sees his own hard-work mentality in the players currently in the locker room.

"In addition, they have a tremendous social networking program, along with very high-level academics and a top 10 FBS football team," Cosby-Mosley said.

App State, Bryant, UNC-Charlotte, East Carolina, Illinois, Liberty, Pitt, Toledo, Tulane, USF, Western Kentucky and Western Michigan were among the programs in the fight for Cosby-Mosley.

Wake is where he felt he'd have the most opportunity to unleash everything his skill set has to offer.

Cosby-Mosley said Wake's coaching staff is planning on letting him play in what's known as a "Star" position. He compared the role to those held by USC alum and former Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu or "the Honey Badger" of Louisiana State Tyrann Mathieu, now a full safety for the New Orleans Saints.

How did Cosby-Mosley get discovered?

It wouldn't be hard to believe that Cosby-Mosley got on the map with his sophomore campaign on defense: a career-high 43 tackles, three interceptions for 82 yards, and a fumble recovery to see Benjamin one win short of the Class 3A final four.

Or last fall as a junior, when he stuffed the defensive stat sheet with 38 tackles, a sack, and a caused fumble while holding down a Benjamin offense in limbo at quarterback. On offense, he threw for 1,177 yards and 15 touchdowns while running for 163 yards and another score.

However, as is the case for a number of late-rising recruits, the next level didn't really start to take notice until Saunders transformed Cosby-Mosley into one of track and field's elite in the spring.

A back-to-back state champion with Benjamin's program, Cosby-Mosley was already a critical contributor. New heights were reached when Cosby-Mosley saw a spurt in size, strength and speed in the offseason. In 2023, he returned for fifth in the 110-meter hurdles at state, flexing his versatility after taking third in the triple jump the year before, an event in which he was a district champion and state qualifier.

Dominating the track scene didn't stop Cosby-Mosley from picking up another sport either. He proved to be a valuable late addition to Benjamin's basketball team, helping the Bucs on a 17-11 run to the Class 3A region semifinals.

By the numbers at Benjamin and what's left for his time with the Bucs?

Cosby-Mosley has the bling for track and field, but a ring to represent Benjamin football's first-ever state championship remains on the wish list.

Looking at the numbers, Cosby-Mosley's effort to see his Bucs go all the way this season isn't unnoticed. Heading into a 24-0 win in Week 5 at Jensen Beach, Cosby-Mosley had 17 tackles on the year — 12 solo with an average of about six per game — with three interceptions and a forced fumble and recovery for three total defensive touchdowns. Offensively, he had three more touchdowns on 11 catches for 192 yards — long of 42 — adding 49 yards and a rushing touchdown.

When the Bucs faced Jensen, Cosby-Mosley had an all-around game, rallying the defense to hold the Falcons to just 40 total yards of offense.

Although he didn't account for a touchdown, he still set Benjamin up to roll to 4-0 with six catches for 90 yards, a 23-yard rush, three tackles, a pass breakup, a touchback kicking the ball off, and as the team's holder for kicker Lily White to deliver three extra points.

"Overall, I feel very proud of my teammates and myself for putting together a great display of what Benjamin football truly is, to have the opportunity to play against such high-level opponents is something that I am grateful for and proud of," Cosby-Mosley said.

His six touchdowns this season are surpassed only by seven for senior running back Chauncey Bowens, a four-star Georgia commit. Cosby-Mosley's increasing impact as a top scorer is a given.

The four-year starter's true growth has come off the field, where it counts most.

"Jacob is an incredible athlete. However, the thing that sets him apart is his leadership," Saunders said, calling Cosby-Mosley the "unquestioned leader" of not only his track program but Benjamin's football team, led by coach Eric Kresser.

Arguably, it's one of the reasons undefeated Benjamin football is ranked No. 17 in Florida and outscoring opponents by 149-27. The majority of those points (21) can be credited to nationally acclaimed Clearwater Academy International.

Onlookers may struggle to put respect on his name. For Cosby-Mosley, there's a greater purpose.

That's letting his teammates, regardless of the sport, know that no matter how underestimated the Bucs may be, they can rise above.

"When you have talent and that, that's when you have a chance to win a championship," Kresser said.

Emilee Smarr is the high school sports reporter for The Palm Beach Post. She can be reached via email at

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Palm Beach's midseason MVP: 'Nobody' outplaying Wake Forest commit Jacob Cosby-Mosley

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