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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Hakeem Holland, WR, Virginia Union University

Virginia Union WR Hakeem Holland recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot
  • Name: Hakeem Holland 
  • Height: 5’8”
  • Weight: 183 pounds
  • Position: WR/RB/KR/PR
  • College:Virginia Union University
  • Twitter:@HakeemHolland

Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?

• I was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. I love my city because it has allowed me to develop self identity and strength. I never tried to become a product of my environment. Instead I fought daily to be my own individual a leader not a follower. I strive to be a better man each day through whatever obstacles that I had to face. 

List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?

• First is film study because I have to be prepared for my opponent rather if that is through studying their techniques or studying my own capabilities and weaknesses to enhance my game to be able to dominate. Second, is strength and conditioning because it allows me to maintain a healthy lifestyle, enhance my coordination, creates smoother movement patterns, and most importantly prevents injury. The third is practice because then I am able to work on what I have been studying repeatedly and strengthening. Practice is where I take the lessons learned and actively pursue them through my actions. 

What do you worry about, and why?

• I worry about my life and being able to take care of myself and put myself in the best position possible. I have family that is depending on me to do good in life and that wants the best for me and my future.

Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?

•My football career has been tough for me from being the main star to being a good teammate. I had a good first year then came back and hurt my shoulder. People and family thought my football days was over. I looked at that Is a failure. I just stayed prayed up and continue to work harder, so I could make the most out of the next opportunity I had to get myself back in the spotlight. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• Being Authentic. Just being genuine and reliable, trustworthy, and always the same person that you can count on.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?

• Trenton Cannon- Virginia State 

What would your career be if you couldn’t play football?

• My career would be a head football coach at the high school level, then work my way up to the college level, and eventually become a professional football coach.  I would love to just be around the game of football because I have a strong passion for the sport. 

Room, desk and car – which do you clean first?

• I clean my room first because it is where I begin and end my day. Having a clean room brings organization into my entire lifestyle, my thoughts stay organized, I develop positive habits, and overall it builds up my self-esteem. Secondly, I clean my car because it speaks volumes about my values and the kind of person I am. It is the first impression my friends, girlfriend, or family sees about me. Having a clean car shows that I face up to my problems and don’t ignore my problems that come up in my daily life. I prefer to live in cleanliness. Lastly, clean my desk to boost my productivity, find what I need faster, and be stress free in my work area. 

If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?

• One family member because the values I have developed started with lessons being instilled in me as a child from my parents and family to build me into the man I am today. My family is who has always accepted me unconditionally, seen the value I portray, and disciplined me to keep me from being sidetracked. Family is everything to me. It is my foundation. 

If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?

• The movie character I would want to be is Liam Neeson from Taken because his character in the movie never gave up. He fought and fought. He was determined and most importantly he acquired special skills he learned throughout his career to be able to take down his opponents. Life lessons is important. 

Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?

• My biggest adversity in my life was when I tore my meniscus and had to get surgery. I was out of my football career for a while and so many thoughts ran through my head thinking I was done playing the sport I loved. However, I prayed to God first daily. Giving me the strength to get all negativity out of my head. I did not let the injury define me. I fought to get my strength back in my knee and work 2 times harder to bounce back and that is when I knew nothing or no one can get in my way of me overcoming any difficulties that come my way in life. Tough times don’t last tough people do.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

•  My most embarrassing moment was when I dropped the punt return in high school and we could have won the game.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

• My most memorable play of my collegiate career was when I scored the opening kick off return for 99 yds, which turned into a recorded breaking game 401 all purpose yds.

What song best describes your work ethic?

• The best song that describes my work ethic is Phil Collins in the air tonight.

What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level? 

• Dependable is the most important trait I can have to help me succeed at the next level because the team and coach has to depend on me to make smart decisions, depend on me to understand the game of football, depend on me to be tough physically and mentally, and depend on me to perform under pressure and execute at the highest of my ability. 

If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?

• Grandmother Carrie Virginia Holmes because that is my heart. She brought the best out of me. 

If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it?

• I would name my dance club Awesome.

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

• Tavon Austin

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

• I believe both is important. However, but before I can become respected I have to give someone a reason to respect me. I have to be approachable, caring, and develop a trustworthy connection that starts with being well-liked.

What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?

• I feel the most for Antonio Brown because he had the world at his hands and was one of the best NFL WR’s and to lose it all to sexual assault is just mind blowing. 

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

• I love to win I get a rush from it like it’s contagious. Nothing beats that feeling when you winning.

Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?

• My father because he showed me how to be a real man and take on responsibility good or bad. To face my problems and not run from them.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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