Hollins made plays all over the field against Bloomingdale.
Plant City linebacker Demije Hollins stepped up big time against Bloomingdale last week, finishing with nine total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Hollins seemed to get involved on just about every play and, if he wasn’t the one finishing the job, his efforts made it easier for teammates like D.J. Gordon and Ashton Mincey to make plays. Hollins is a senior who hopes to attend Florida State University after graduating in the spring and major in sports management.
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What are you looking to do against Tampa Bay Tech now that you’ve watched film?
Same thing I did last week, trying to get in the backfield on every play, every snap. My homeboy over there at running back (Treshaun Ward), we grew up together so there’s a competition. We get competitive.
This happened with Armwood, too, when guys like Eric Wilson and Myles Forte came back here playing for another team. What’s it like when people you grew up playing with switch teams and then play against you?
Same thing. In little league, we played against each other, but we grew up around each other like in the same household, always playing around. We know when we go out on the field, we ain’t friends. We’re gonna leave everything on the line.
What makes you proud to be a Raider?
To keep making everybody fight. On defense, me, D.J. and Juice (Tyreke Harrison), we’re all leaders. We try to keep everybody motivated. Like against Armwood, we all gave up. I wasn’t doing my job as a leader to make sure everybody kept going. It was my fault. Now we’re not having that no more. After that one “L,” we’re not trying to have no more.
How do you guys keep that from happening again?
We make sure we push everybody to the ball on every play. We want 11 hats to the ball. If we get 11 hats to the ball there’s no possible way they can score a touchdown.
You seem pretty proud to be a senior leader. When you were younger on this team, which seniors did you look up to?
Steven Ogletree because he was close to me. And my cousin, T.J. Chase. Those two, I looked up to. Always competitive at practice and kept up the enthusiasm. They slacked off a little bit but now I just know what I need to work on to make sure I don’t do the same thing. I just look at the key things they did right and the key things they did wrong to try and correct them.
So what advice would you give to the younger players who will still be here when you’re gone?
It’s a big focus on grades. Once you make sure your grades are right, you don’t have to stress it as much later in life. Make sure you get in the books first before you get on the field. After that, make sure you work hard in the weight room.