Catch me if you can: Speed makes up for Holloway’s lack of size

Brandon Holloway has added some weight during his time in Starkville, but speed is his greatest asset. (AP Photo/Austin McAfee)

Brandon Holloway has added some weight during his time in Starkville, but speed is his greatest asset. (AP Photo/Austin McAfee)

By Logan Lowery

Daily Journal

STARKVILLE – Brandon Holloway arrived at Mississippi State in 2012 as one of the lightest football players in the SEC.

At that time, Holloway barely tipped the scales at 150 pounds along his thin 5-foot-8 frame.

But what had more than a dozen colleges drooling over was his speed. Holloway, a former high school track standout in the 100, 200 and 400 meters, has been clocked as fast as 4.28 in the forty yard dash.

HOLLOWAY

HOLLOWAY

Entering his third year at MSU, Holloway has worked hard to add 10-pounds but knows his speed more than makes up for his small stature.

“I’ve always been undersized, but it’s something I’m used to so it doesn’t really affect me,” Holloway said.

Holloway has had a multitude of roles in Starkville. He has been both a wide receiver and a running back as well as on kickoff and punt return duties.

In 27 career touches, Holloway is averaging 9.4 yards per touch.

“I wanted to take the role of being able to do the different types of plays,” Holloway said. “I’m working to be the confident player that everybody can trust and depend on.”

Holloway split time at running back and receiver as a redshirt freshman last season. He carried the ball eight times for 38 yards and caught seven passes for 77 yards.

He added 149 return yards including a 95-yard kickoff return to start the second half against Alcorn State but was tripped up at the 1-yard line going in.

“I think about that all the time,” Holloway said. “I’m just waiting for the next big break.”

Although he had initially planned to also run track for the Bulldogs, Holloway has since poured all of his time, energy and focus on the gridiron.

Now a full-time tailback, Holloway is one of four options the Bulldogs plan to utilize in the backfield this fall. The Tampa, Fla., native likes the versatility MSU’s running backs feature.

“I love our running backs and feel we are all different and unique,” Holloway said. “We have some that are bigger, smaller or faster. I feel like everybody runs with their own style and that helps us a lot during the game.”

During the season opener against Southern Miss, Holloway was the team’s third leading rusher with six carries for 24 yards.

Holloway has an important role in the return game as well. He still serves as Jameon Lewis’ primary backup on both kickoff and punt returns.

“Special teams is one of the biggest parts of the game,” Holloway said. “That’s just as big a role as playing running back.”

logan.lowery@journalinc.com