Holliday ready to unleash speed on NFL

Posted April 07, 2010 @ 9:37 a.m.
Posted By Eli Kaberon

Of the 255 players who are going to be selected on draft weekend, several are considered fast. Of that group, a few are considered to have elite speed. Among that few, only one player has world-class speed: LSU's Trindon Holliday.

The former Tiger was an eight-time All-American in track, winning the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 100 meters (10.00 seconds). He also reached the semifinals of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100, one of only two college sprinters in the event.

On the football field, Holliday's speed was a factor in the return game, as he averaged 24,2 yards per kickoff and 14.7 yards a punt over his career.

Besides being the fastest, Holliday is also likely to be the shortest player taken in the draft, standing at just over 5-foot-5. PFW asked him if he's studied other short players and what he thought of a man a foot taller than him, Usain Bolt.

PFW: What position do you see yourself playing in the NFL?

TH: Right now, I see myself more as a return specialist, but I can also help out on coverage teams.

PFW: Have you studied the styles of any other shorter running backs?

TH: I haven't really studied them, but I watched Warrick Dunn when he was in the league and I watch guys like Darren Sproles now.

PFW: Who was your favorite player/team growing up?

TH: Growing up, well, it wasn't my favorite team, but the team I would watch a lot was the San Francisco 49ers.

PFW: Why is that?

TH: It was always between Dallas and San Francisco in my house, so I would always cheer for the 49ers.

PFW: How important is the championship ring you won with LSU in the 2007 season?

TH: It was very important. It really meant something to me, and it's something I'll cherish for the rest of my life.

PFW: What was it like to compete at the U.S. Olympic trials later that year?

TH: That was something that was really special, being able to train with my college team and then go out and compete with the professionals. It's something special to me. I tried to make a name for myself at the Olympic trials and advance to the Olympics, but it didn't happen.

PFW: Did you watch Usain Bolt in Beijing? What were your thoughts on what he did?

TH: (Laughs.) Yeah, I watched it on TV, and it was just, like, amazing. Usain was so fast, the things that he did, it was exciting to see how fast he could go.

PFW: Have you ever played football with someone faster than you?

TH: No, never seen anyone on the field faster than me.

PFW: Was your preparation for the NCAA track championships or Olympic trials any different than an LSU game or the NFL Combine?

TH: It wasn't any different. The training that I was on for the Combine was something that was carried over from the season.

PFW: Why have you chosen to pursue football instead of track?

TH: I chose football because even though I enjoyed track and field, I always had a childhood dream to try and get into and play in the NFL, ever since the fifth grade.

PFW: How do you prepare yourself when a kickoff or punt is in the air?

TH: I wouldn't say I calm myself down; it's just knowing what to do and how to do it. Know the blocking scheme you have and how your guys are set up in front.

PFW: What was the hardest hit you ever took?

TH: The hardest hit I took was (pause) in 2007 when we played in the SEC championship game against Tennessee. I felt the impact then, and even a few days later I was feeling it.

PFW: How big of a deal is high school football in Zachary, Louisiana?

TH: It was a pretty big thing. It wasn't as big as it is in some other place, but it was something that the fans got behind us. A lot of tailgating for hours before the game — they really liked to have fun.

PFW: Where are you going to spend Draft Day(s)?

TH: I'll likely watch all three days, I mean, 'cause anything can happen at the NFL draft. I'm just going to watch all three days and let things go where they fall.

PFW: Finally, what's your favorite movie?

TH: Bad Boys II.

PFW: Favorite musical artist?

TH: That would be, um, man, that's hard. Favorite musical artist? I would have to say Lil Boosie.

PFW: And if you could do any job other than being an athlete, what would it be?

TH: Probably construction. I did that for a little while before I was in school.


Top 10 draft prospects at each position


Nolan Nawrocki will answer selected questions from readers each Tuesday leading up to the draft, beginning April 13. Send your draft-related questions to Nawrocki at ASKquestions@pfwmedia.com.

For the most authoritative NFL draft news and free-agency analysis, visit ProFootballWeekly.com.