J.J. Hollingsworth believes that he is the first Greenland Pirate to receive and accept a scholarship offer to play football at the University of Arkansas. If head coach Sam Pittman keeps an eye on the Pirates’ program over the next few years Hollingsworth has a younger brother who also just might catch his eye.
“It just means a lot knowing that I can help other guys out on my team. Kids like my little brother that are coming up in a few years. They might not have gotten the chance but now they might just get a look because somebody else from here has done it,” Hollingsworth told the Pig Trail Nation.
A hop skip and a jump down the road from the University of Arkansas campus along highway 71 Greenland is easy to miss if you happen travel that way. But Hollingsworth doesn’t see Pirate football as small time.
“We don’t have a fancy turf field or a big indoor workout building like some of the bigger schools around here but we get after it,” Hollingsworth declared. “We’re out here on our grass field when it’s raining. When it’s freezing cold. We don’t limit ourselves because of our facilities.”
At 6-4 and 250 pounds Hollingsworth already looks the part of an SEC defensive end even though he has two full seasons to further develop. He acknowledges that he does plan to get a lot better.
“I want to improve on every aspect of my game but mainly being more of a threat on defense,” Hollingsworth stressed. “Getting faster, stronger and bigger. Hopefully a little bit taller.”
If Hollingsworth continues to develop offers from other schools would appear to be likely from coaches who would recruit him in spite of his commitment to Arkansas.
“I’ve thought about it,” Hollingsworth admitted, “and I can’t see myself wanting to go anywhere else. Even if I do get other offers I want to go up there and not only help build a program but get the opportunity to play my freshman year.”
Arkansas’ courtship of Hollingsworth was fairly brief. He said he got an offer on July 13th about a week after he was first contacted.
“I talked with my family and we discussed it a lot,” Hollingsworth recalled. “The coaches at Kansas did a good job of recruiting me but it wasn’t a hard decision.”
It was a decision that would have made his late grandmother happy. Hollingsworth has a large family photo of her holding him as a toddler while wearing a Razorback sweater. In fact his whole family is hooked on the Hogs. Mom, dad and his brother along with several friends and supporters gathered on the Greenland football field to call the Hogs the day his decision was announced on Twitter about two weeks after the offer.
Recalling head coach Sam Pittman’s reaction Hollingsworth said, “I was like, ‘Coach I can’t wait to be a Razorback’ and he was pretty fired up about it. I think he’s making plans for a good next couple of years where whenever I get there he already has the program going.”