So Hollman clamped down on his academics, attended Milford Academy in New Berlin, N.Y., and worked odd jobs unloading trucks for Dunkin’ Donuts and cutting meat at a deli.
He wrote letters and emailed highlights to every D-I head coach and assistant he could find. His perseverance eventually landed Hollman a walk-on offer to play at Toledo University.
Years of sacrifice – and an impressive March pro day – led to the Packers drafting Hollman with the 185th selection Saturday, the first of Green Bay’s two sixth-round picks.
“Getting picked by Green Bay in the sixth round, I had a rush of emotions go through me,” Hollman said. “I just felt like all my hard work and everything I’ve been through went through me all at once. Tons of emotions about the hard work I did to get here.”
Despite going to prep school for a semester, Hollman still didn’t have the SAT score to get into college. He kept training at home. While working various jobs, Hollman battled self-doubt throughout. Motivation came in the form of the tapes he sent out to colleges – often without any replies.
“Every day, I would email my tape out to teams, to colleges, hoping I would hear something and every day I never heard anything back,” Hollman said. “I felt like there were a couple days, I would wonder to myself – dang am I supposed to go D-1 in football? I just had times like that when real life hit me and I had to get through it.”
Toledo finally came calling with a walk-on offer. Hollman earned a scholarship after his redshirt freshman year and started at cornerback the next three seasons, registering 27 pass breakups and two interceptions. He led the MAC last year with 12 breakups, along with forcing and recovering a fumble.
What really put Hollman on the NFL map, though, was his Toledo pro day in March, when the 5-foot-11, 190-pound cornerback recorded a 4.37 time in the 40 with a 39-inch vertical.
The Packers, intrigued with what they’d seen, hosted Hollman on an official pre-draft visit last week. Both parties came away impressed with the meeting.