Jacob Hollister proved he wasn’t a one-hit wonder, at least not in this summer. The undrafted rookie tight end burst onto the scene with a 116-yard receiving night in the preseason opener versus Jacksonville, but followed it up by continuing to make plays in training camp, joint practices and one more time, in the preseason finale Thursday against the Giants. That’s why he never got that phone call or tap on the shoulder yesterday when the Patriots cut their roster to 53 men.
“It was just craziness,” said Hollister, recalling the day. “Really excited. Worked my butt off with my teammates and it’s such a blessing to be a part of this organization. I’m really proud and happy.”
Hollister didn’t know what to expect yesterday. It was just wait and see and hope and pray.
“Pretty much don’t want to get news, I guess,” said the Oregon native. “This was my first time, my first go around. I was just kind of waiting around. You go into meetings and if you don’t get called…I was happy not to get some news.”
Hollister’s twin brother, Cody, wasn’t as lucky, at least not on the initial cut down day. A wideout who battled a shoulder injury for a couple weeks to start camp, Cody made a late run at a spot, and maybe did enough to impress the Pats coaching staff to want to continue working with him (i.e. practice squad). Jacob may have hinted at such a move when I asked him if making the team was bittersweet considering what happened to his brother.
“A little bit but we both came into knowing that that’s part of it and that this is a business at the end of the day,” said Jacob, continuing, “but we’ll find out here in a little bit what’s going to be official for him. But he’s really happy for me and I'm really happy for him and we’ll just move on and see what happens today.”
What happens from here could be out of either Hollister’s hands, depending on injuries or other players that may become available in the coming days and weeks. But one thing is certain to Jacob: if he does what’s expected, Belichick doesn’t care where or how you were acquired. Proof is once again in the pudding, with four undrafted players making the roster.
“I feel like definitely have known it’s not how you get here, it’s what you do when you’re here,” said Hollister, a Wyoming product. “That’s something coach Belichick made clear the first day we got here and I knew that if I put the work in, and I put what i needed to on film, and got the guys to trust me and everything like that then I’d have a good chance.”
One he made the most of.