UM's Holloway trades basketball for football

By The Associated Press

OXFORD — Murphy Holloway just finished a standout college career with Ole Miss’ basketball team. Now he’s trying to make the switch to professional football.

The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Holloway was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens soon after the NFL draft ended on Saturday. His sure hands and athleticism allowed him to become the Rebels’ all-time leader in career rebounds.

Now he hopes that skill set can allow him to develop into an NFL-caliber tight end.

The 23-year-old knows is optimistic, but understands he has a lot to learn in a short amount of time.

“Learning technique is going to be big. Like all sports, it’s the small things you can do to make yourself better,” Holloway said. “It’s going to be different types of workouts and different types of drills. More fast-twitch things — stop and go. I’m looking forward to learning something new every day and I know I will.”

Holloway hasn’t played football since early in his high school days. But he said several NFL teams — including the Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles — showed interest in signing him before he settled on a contract with the Ravens.

Holloway said he is friends with Ravens’ starting right tackle Michael Oher, who played football at Ole Miss.

“It’s going to be a good setup,” Holloway said. “I’ll be playing behind some veteran guys who can show me the ropes. There’s not going to be any jealousy – they know I’m not about to go in there and take their time. I’m going to go in there with the mindset of trying to make the team, but if not, just try to develop into a great tight end.”

Holloway averaged 14.5 points and 9.7 rebounds last season for the Rebels, who advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament before losing to LaSalle. He was a bruising presence on the basketball court, with a physical mentality and long arms that appear well-suited for the football field.