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UVA sophomore Mike Hollins happy to be back with ‘Hoos

UVA running back Mike Hollins in 2019
UVA running back Mike Hollins in 2019(wvir)
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 10:02 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Virginia running back Mike Hollins did not play with the Cavaliers last year.

Hollins made the decision to opt out of the season, with the uncertainty of COVID-19, and he spent the season at home in Louisiana watching his teammates from afar.

“The first few (games) were tough,” says Hollins. “The first few were really tough.”

After playing for the Virginia football team as a true freshman, Hollins says it wasn’t easy spending a season as just a fan.

“It just made me anxious,” says Hollins. “That was the biggest thing, I was really anxious. Sometimes I would have to turn it off, and come back. I don’t know, I couldn’t take it. I really wanted to be there, but I knew I made my decision, and I knew I had to be content with my decision.”

The sophomore says there was one benefit to watching the games from his couch.

“Down in Louisiana, there’s just good food everywhere,” says Hollins. “It’s hard to not eat. My go-to has to be a good jambalaya. Gumbo’s a little too hot.”

Hollins is looking to add a little spice to the Cavaliers backfield this season.

He spent a year away, but didn’t take the year off, and worked with a trainer to stay in shape.

Hollins says, “I knew I couldn’t come back any lesser than I left. I either had to come back the same, or better, and I chose better.”

The Wahoos have been led in rushing by their quarterbacks in each of the past two seasons.

Head coach Bronco Mendenhall says this years running back group might be the deepest position on the team.

“Really hard to say right now who, and how many touches, and what roles,” says Bronco. “It’s a photo finish. Mike Hollins adds a dynamic ball carrier emphasis that is really special.”

“We just bonded together, struck together, and compete every day,” says Hollins. “But we love each other, and that makes us compete even harder, and that makes us better in the end.”

Virginia is scheduled to kickoff the season at home against William & Mary on Saturday at 7:30 PM.

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