NFL Draft Q&A: Mississippi State RB/WR Brandon Holloway
Our NFL Draft Q&A series today has a local prospect -- there really aren't many in this year's draft -- in former Alonso High standout Brandon Holloway, who just wrapped up four years at Missisippi State and is working to show that his speed can help offset a lack of size at 5-foot-7, 160 pounds. He played some running back and receiver for the Bulldogs, and took a few minutes to talk about preparing for the draft and the chance to finish his college career close to home in the St. Petersburg Bowl.
Q: Where are you training for the draft?
A: "I'm at D1 in Tampa, right next to Citrus (Park) mall. There's a lot there, probably about 15 of us, some players out of UCF like D.J. (Killings), Demeitre Brim, people spread out from all over."
Q: What are the measurables you're working on the most between now and pro day?
A: "Just the little technique things, the drills and things to show my versatility, to show even though I didn't play wide receiver as much in college, I'm just as able to play that as running back."
Q: Do you think that's where you have the best chance to play at the next level?
A: "I do believe the slot position will probably be the best position for me to successful at any level of football. Definitely in college they used me at running back, but kind of a lot of motion and things like that. That's a way I can use my abilities."
Q: What's next for you in terms of things you're preparing for?
A: "My pro day is March 22."
Q: Who would you say is the best teammate you played with in college?
A: "Definitely, hands down, it has to be Dak Prescott. It wasn't surprising at all. If you ask anybody, not just at Mississippi State, but anyone that's met him personally, they'll tell you they're not surprised. He's your typical leader, the best leader you can envision in all categories."
Q: It's a tough question in the SEC, but best player you ever went up against?
A: "Playing running back, the best front I ran against was the Alabama front. One of the best defenses I played against that was challenging to me was the Texas A&M defense two years ago."
Q: Take me back to your Alonso days and what your options were before you chose to sign with Mississippi State.
A: "I can't remember how many offers I had, maybe 15 or in that range. The mindset I was in coming out of high school, I wanted to show people I could play at the highest level of college football. A lot of people were looking down on me because of my size. Pretty much from the beginning of the process, I cut it down and I only wanted to play in the SEC. That brought me to two offers, from Vanderbilt and Mississippi State. I actually visited Vanderbilt. I liked it there a lot. When I went to Mississippi State, it felt different to me. I felt the dedication and the hard work that was going on there. I liked the mindset of Coach (Dan) Mullen and felt it was the best place for me. It was a great place for me while I was there."
Q: How close to a degree are you?
A: "I graduated Dec. 9 in human sciences. I definitely want to work with youth. I did an internship at Sally Kate Winters (children's home) in Mississippi, and that's the same thing I want to do: work with troubled youth, try to get them a way out, help them with lifestyle lessons and things like that."
Q: What sports did you play the most before football?
A: "I ran track. I was going to do it as Mississippi State, but then I decided to focus on football and commit to one thing. In the 100, my fastest time was a 10.5 my junior year. I ran a 21.1 in the 200, and my 400 was around a 48."
Q: Is there a player in the NFL that's your body type, that you'd pattern yourself after?
A: "Truthfully, looking at it, one of the people I've been watching and kind of matches the type of player I am, size wise, would be (Falcons WR) Taylor Gabriel. I know he's newer in the league, but he fits the same kind of player I am."
Q: We're asking everyone for food recommendations. If I'm in Starkville, where's the best place to eat?
A: "That's pretty hard. There are some good places to eat there. My favorite would have to be Umi's, which is a Japanese steakhouse."
Q: How cool was it for you to be able to come home and finish your college career close to home in St. Petersburg, getting a win at Tropicana Field?
A: "That was great. I never would have imagined getting to play in Florida. I was going farther away and never thought I'd play this close to home. When I first saw we were invited to the St. Pete Bowl, it was nice to be back down here, to be able to see a lot of people I don't get to hang out with. I had my immediate family and a few friends I grew up with, so it was really good."
Check out our other NFL Draft Q&As: Minnesota cornerback Jalen Myrick, Oklahoma State tackle Victor Salako, N.C. State center Joe Scelfo, Army linebacker Andrew King, Louisana Tech receiver Trent Taylor, Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara, USC defensive tackle Stevie Tu'ikolovatu and Saint Francis safety Lorenzo Jerome.