Former Wootton wide receiver Mack Hollins is a Super Bowl champion.
The Rockville native celebrated the Philadelphia Eagles’ 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots Sunday in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
The Eagles’ rookie wide receiver and special teams contributor earned a Super Bowl ring in his first season on the job. Not a bad way to begin your NFL career.
Wootton head coach Eddie Tolliver said he watched the entire game from start to finish and beamed with pride over his former pupil.
“It just shows if you put the hard work and effort into it where you can go,” explained Tolliver, who noted that Hollins took a roundabout way to the NFL.
Hollins, a fourth round selection who was the draft’s 118th overall pick last year, became the first former Wootton player drafted in 16 years. In 2001, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Temple offensive lineman Mathias Nkwenti in the fourth round with the 111th overall pick.
During his high school career at Wootton, Hollins went virtually unnoticed on the gridiron and received little interest from major college scouts while sporting the Patriots uniform.
“He was under the radar,” said Tolliver, “because he didn’t play his junior year.”
Despite playing as a freshman, sophomore and senior at Wootton, Hollins was not scouted by the major college programs.
“He didn’t get looked at by a lot of schools for whatever reason,” said Tolliver. “The biggest school that wanted him was Appalachian State.”
After a stint at Fork Union Military Academy, Hollins landed at the University of North Carolina as a walk-on and his career took off.
During his tenure in Chapel Hill, Hollins caught 20 touchdowns, a feat that ranks third all-time in program history. He also set the school’s career record for yards per reception [20.6 avg] and led the NCAA in yards per reception [24.8 avg] during his junior campaign in 2015.
As a junior, Hollins finished the 2015 campaign with 30 receptions for a team-high 745 yards and eight touchdowns and was named all-conference. He was also named the Tar Heels’ special teams captain in four straight seasons.
Last spring, Hollins was selected by the Eagles in the fourth round and the rest is history.
“The morning he got drafted he was at Wootton working out with the kids,” said Tolliver. “That work ethic really paid off.”
The Wootton football program also received some good news last weekend when the father of junior defensive back Ralin Lewis was honored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.
Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker and two-time Super Bowl champion Ray Lewis was named a first-ballot selection.
“He was kind of excited about it too,” Tolliver said about Ralin Lewis. “All smiles and everything.”
What’s more, the Wootton football program had a former player win an NCAA championship recently when Trevon Diggs helped the Alabama Crimson Tide to a national title just last month.
“We’ve got all the bases covered,” said Tolliver, “now all we got to do is win a state championship.”