Be on the lookout for Virginia Tech’s true-freshman running back, Jalen Holston. Jalen has seen a considerable amount of playing time through Virginia Tech’s first 10 games with his two biggest games coming against East Carolina and Georgia Tech. With two games remaining to the regular season, we sat down with Jalen Holston to learn more about his journey to where he is now.
Exxedera: What is your background playing football, how long have you been playing?
Jalen Holston: “I’ve Been playing since I was 9 years old. I began playing youth football for the Gresham Park Rattlers. From there since I moved to North Henry, where I played for the Tiger at “Henry County Recreation and Department”. From there on I played middle and high school football in the same area.”
Exxedera: Who inspired you to play, and who do you look at as your idol?
Jalen Holston: “I’d Say my family influenced me to play, because I really wanted to find my own way out, and wanted to pursue something I felt I was good at. It was my way of making a living or myself.”
Exxedera: Where did you go to high school?
Jalen Holston: “Stockbridge High School.”
Exxedera: What were you ranked as in high school, and how good do you feel you were during your high school career?
Jalen Holston: “I was ranked as a 4-star recruit, but honestly it was only in the beginning of my high school career that I cared about how many stars I had or didn’t have. Once I saw my first stars I really quit worrying about how many I had. When it comes to my high school career, I feel I was one of the best athletes in the state of GA.”
Exxedera: What back do you envision yourself to be, or you feel you coincide with?
Jalen Holston: “I’m trying to be like Le’Veon Bell, he’s a play-maker. I’m trying to be all over the field, receiving the ball and rushing.
Exxedera: What was your first college offer?
Jalen Holston: “Florida Gators”
Exxedera: What was your dream offer?
Jalen Holston: “University of South Carolina”
Exxedera: What drew you into committing to Virginia Tech?
Jalen Holston: “Family-like culture, and the atmosphere. My number one thing was whatever school I chose, I wanted my mother to be comfortable with it. Virginia Tech was one of the first visits that my actually communicated with the coaches a lot, gave them feedback, and actually talked to me and told me how much she liked them a lot. The fans make up for a crazy atmosphere, so that’s what really drew me.”
Exxedera: How do the older guys on the team make sure you keep up to speed?
Jalen Holston: “That’s the one thing I really love about Virginia Tech, no matter what year they are, they look out for me. My first week of practice I went in thinking it was going to be nothing but hard-nose competition, but I had a lot of the older guys asking me questions after practice and staying in tune with me. Many of the older guys would text me after practice to come to their dorm so I could learn more about the plays and what I needed to do to keep up to speed. I meet with somebody on the team every week in which we also go out to eat to make sure we are all on the same page. We all actually watch film together just to make sure we are in position to meet our common goal of winning.”
Exxedera: How does it feel to be tied on the team for the most touchdowns for a running back through the first 10 games?
Jalen Holston: “I mean it feels good, but to me it also feels like I can’t stop there. My goal is to be the best running back to ever play the game. My touchdowns just pushes me to go farther, because I already know there will be backs behind me, trying to get what I got.”
Exxedera: What are your expectations for yourself and the team for the rest of the year?
Jalen Holston: “My expectations for the rest of year is to win-out and dominate. We have been slacking these last few games, but I feel we have been practicing harder now to where we should blow teams out and win. For myself personally through the rest of the season, I expect myself to finish out strong and try to lead the team in rushing yards.”
Exxedera: How good do you feel Virginia Tech football will be in the years to come?
Jalen Holston: “I feel for the next couple of years we will be extremely good. We are still a very young team. In the future I expect us to be a top 10 team every year. A lot of our young guys are playing now, so come our sophomore and junior years we will have a lot of experience to compete at that level. I see us as being a very good team and one of the best Virginia Tech teams that have ever came through.”
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