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Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017
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Alonso: Two-sport athlete Holloway gets intense on field

TAMPA - A conversation with Brandon Holloway can put you at ease. His happy-go-lucky demeanor springs forward and allows one to drop their guard. Here's the thing, the football and track star doesn't want anyone confused: He's not a track guy playing football. "When I'm playing football, if you ask anybody on my team, I seem like a nice guy, but when I start playing football, I get mad at everybody," he said, flashing that easy smile. "I'm not nice anymore. I turn into one of the most aggressive little kids you can see." Little because he stands 5-foot-9, 155 pounds, but that's overshadowed by the more than one dozen official football scholarship offers he's received over the course of this spring and summer.
In July, Holloway, a running back/receiver-type on the field, gave Mississippi State a verbal commitment. The clincher being he can participate in both football and track. Some folks are just lucky to catch the eye of one coach, but it's Holloway's work ethic that does it. Last season as a junior, Holloway combined for 785 yards and eight touchdowns rushing, receiving and in kickoff return duty. On the track last season, he qualified for the state meet in the 100-, 200- and 4x400-meter races. His impact speaks to his willingness to properly prepare himself during the offseason, which has garnered the respect and admiration of first-year Alonso coach Brian Emanuel. "All coaches probably fight the same battles of getting all of their kids here (for summer workouts)," Emanuel said. "You have family vacations and different things and you're really hoping your leaders will step up and be there. I had to leave workouts early one day because we had a fall sports meeting." When he returned to the weight room an hour and a half later, the room was devoid of players – so Emanuel thought. "One of my assistant coaches was still in the weight room and, literally, it's dark and I'm going back to the coaches office to get my keys. Out of the weight room comes Brandon Holloway. I call him Franchise and I said, 'Franchise, what are you doing here?' He said, 'Coach, I was just getting some decline bench in.' " The story draws a chuckle from Emanuel when he recounts the moment. "To me, that wasn't for show," Emanuel said. "That wasn't with anybody around." It's clear not much can stump the dual-sport Holloway, but what about this? Is there any way he pictures choosing football over track or vice versa? Following a grimace and a shift in his seat, Holloway admitted, football and track must co-exist in his life. "I don't know if I could pick one over the other," Holloway said.
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