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Mike Hollins named Collegiate Man of the Year

The graduate running back received one of the greatest honors in college football

<p>Hollins also received the ACC’s recipient of the <a href=""><u>Brian Piccolo Award</u></a> and was named the <a href=""><u>2023 Comeback Player of the Year</u></a> by the Associated Press.</p>

Hollins also received the ACC’s recipient of the Brian Piccolo Award and was named the 2023 Comeback Player of the Year by the Associated Press.

Graduate running back Mike Hollins was honored as the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year — one of the most prestigious awards in college football — Thursday evening in Frisco, Texas. 

Jason Witten, a former NFL tight end who played 17 professional seasons, was honored as the 2012 NFL Man of the Year for his continuous community service work. The collegiate award in his name was created in 2017 to commemorate leadership on the football field and in a student-athlete’s community. In addition to the award, a $10,000 contribution was made to Virginia’s athletic scholarship fund in Hollins’ name. 

Hollins demonstrated an immense amount of resilience this past season. He returned to practice just four months  after suffering major gunshot wounds to his back during the November 13, 2022 shooting which killed three of his teammates — Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry. Throughout the season, Hollins honored his fallen teammates and became a national inspiration. 

“[Mike Hollins] is a great leader and an inspiration to us all,” Witten said. “He overcame last year’s terrible shooting while attempting to help his teammates, and then made a return to the field to become a true team leader. He is a perfect example of what a college student-athlete can be.” 

In the 2023 season, Hollins was voted as a team captain and appeared in 11 of Virginia’s 12 games. He led the team in rushing touchdowns — including an incredible three touchdowns in a road win over then-No.10 North Carolina. Hollins’ mark of eight total touchdowns was tied for 15th in the ACC. Sixth-year running back Perris Jones commented on Hollins’ strength after spring practice in 2023.

“They call him ‘Iron Mike’ for a reason,” Jones said. “His strength, his character — it really shows through every day out here throughout workouts and throughout practice … And just the way he’s carried himself throughout this tragedy and how he continues to carry himself, it’s surreal. He is strong, man, and his fight every day encourages all of us to continue to fight and to do the best that we absolutely can, because if he can do it, we can as well.” 

Hollins also received the ACC’s recipient of the Brian Piccolo Award and was named the 2023 Comeback Player of the Year by the Associated Press. Hollins also won the Capital One Orange Bowl-Football Writers Association of America Courage Award and was named to the 2023 ACC All-Academic Team.


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