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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Path 2 the Pros: UNDERDOG: The Mack Hollins Chronicles

This is the story of unsung college bigwig, WR Mack Hollins, as he pursues a career in the NFL.

His words, after the jump.

They say I Play Like a Raven.

I not only value special teams, I thrive on them.

I am from Rockville, MD.

I am a blue-collar player, didn't get any offers out of High School, walked on to the team at UNC, wound up starting at WR as a Junior and Senior.

When I think about the Ravens, I think: Super Bowl Championship. Period.

I made a living at Carolina getting deep, and I just did it with speed and then size.

If those things make me like a Raven, so be it. I'd love that.

Let me reiterate: I enjoy special teams. I began as a defensive back, but changed to receiver 5 weeks into my redshirt season. When my position coach told me that I was going to make the bus by special
teams, that became my entire focus. I made the travel team that way, and once I got on, I knew I never wanted to get back off. I also wanted to play special teams no matter what. I would always say, "Tell [Coach] that I'm ok, I still want to play special teams (when they would try to move him off the ST in order to focus on offense)." Going into the NFL, I fully plan on playing on all four special teams. I believe I can make them. I could have a ten year career playing special teams, and never play WR.

My Senior year, I got injured. Collarbone. Ended my season. Of course it was frustrating, but being upset won't do anything about it. May as well be happy. It was my first major injury, but it didn't crush me. I'm a week away from being back at 100%.

My parents and I joke about it all the time: my road to getting to where I am has never been the easiest one, it's always really been the hardest way possible to where I need to go. I always find a way to get through it.

I'm just looking forward to getting my opportunities. I know once I get an opportunity, I'll be able to shine. I'm ok with being an underdog. I didn't have the bright spotlight coming out of High School, either. I went to Fort Union Military School after graduation in order to hone my skills, I got better. Still no offers. I wrote 100 coaches, sent them my highlights. Finally, Marcus Berry from UNC ended up emailing me back, saying they might have a spot for a walk-on. I knew that's where I wanted to be.

This is all a fun journey. You won't see me at practice or a game not smiling. I'm going to have my fun. If you watch games, special teams especially, I'm going to be laughing, having fun.

I know I can add value as a special teams player, as a receiver.

To win Super Bowls.

That's what guys are in it for. The Pro Bowl is nice, but that big ring is what I would be fighting for.