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Using Football as an Outlet; William Hollis Enjoying His New Family With Trenton Freedom

by Augustine Dashiell | Posted on Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Originally from the tough streets of Pontiac, Michigan, William Hollis on the field represents everything that is Pontiac, even though football is the very vehicle that removed him from the off field dangers of that same Pontiac environment.

“Football took me away from the drug dealing and murders,” Hollis said recanting his early days in the sport. “It gave me a happy place it gave me a purpose and most importantly it gave me a family.”

Hollis bounced from the homes of relatives to friends as a youth as his parents battled drug addiction. Eventually Hollis moved to Los Angeles with his brother and finished his high school career at Alexander Hamilton High School.

Due to low test scores, Hollis’ football journey included stops at Western Lake Community College (Ca), El Camino Community College (CA), Central Missouri, Clark (Atlanta), North Alabama, and Tuskegee. Hollis dominated at Western Lake, El Camino and Clark where he finished as a finalist for the Harlon Hill Award (D2 Heisman) as a junior. Although he left North Alabama (family reasons) and never saw the field his senior season at Tuskegee, Hollis believed his talent was good enough for the next level. Hollis stayed in shape awaiting his next opportunity at getting on the field.

“My offseason work outs are intense,” Hollis said. “I go six days a week I don’t have any big time personal trainers. I call my training rocky balboa training I YouTube workout and just do them. When you want something you’ll find a way to JUST DO IT!”

(Image via Trenton Freedom)

(Image via Trenton Freedom)

After a season with the Columbus Lions of the Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL), the 6’1 250 pounder uses that toughness as a defensive lineman for the Trenton Freedom. Hollis brings intensity to the Freedom front three in the form of relentless pressure. In three games Hollis registered 4.5 sacks and kept quarterbacks in the pocket for fellow linemen Marques Slocum and Gerrard Bryant.

“Playing next to Slocum goes well because he’s big and strong I’m smaller and fast so he keeps quarterbacks in the pocket so I can use my explosive get off and go get them.”

Armed with an impressive speed rush, Hollis described his style of play as a lot of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Elvis Dumervil mixed with a tad of Denver Broncos defensive end DeMarcus Ware. Hollis even tweaked his approach for the indoor game.

“I had to shorten the whoop (looping path to the quarterback) and make smaller turns needed to sack the quarterback,” Hollis said.

The well traveled Young Jeezy fan brings everything full circle when he talks of his desire and drive for football success.

“I owe it all to Pontiac, Michigan,” Hollis started. “When I rush the passer, it is like my life is on the line. Two months ago I was practically homeless, every game I remember having nobody to call. When I’m on that field this is the way I’m going to make it for me and my daughter.  There’s a fire in me and it comes out every time I strap on a helmet.”

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