Three years ago, Jacob Hollister was a quarterback — and a pretty good one.
Hollister was an all-state pick at Mountain View High in Bend, Oregon and started his career as a walk-on quarterback at Nevada in 2012. At 6-foot-4 and around 200 pounds back then, Hollister had the makings to be a good one at the college level.
Fast-forward to now, and Hollister looks to be a good tight end for the Wyoming Cowboys.
“He’s been fantastic and is going to be a really good players for us,” UW tight ends coach Shane LaDage said.
After his short stay at Nevada, Hollister transferred to Arizona Western Community College where he switched from quarterback to tight end. In one season there, he caught 10 passes for 96 yards and a touchdown.
When coach Craig Bohl and his staff was hired at UW prior to last season, Bohl brought with him a pro-style offense that uses tight ends — both in the run and pass game. The Cowboys were a spread offense prior to Bohl’s arrival with no tight ends.
Hollister enrolled in January of 2014. He was around 210 or 215 pounds, but as the season progressed he showed the ability to be a quality tight end. He led UW’s tight ends with 17 catches for 244 yards last season, and caught two touchdowns.
Now, as UW begins its second week of spring practice, Hollister is up to about 230 pounds — although he joked that after last Friday’s second practice of spring drills he was down to 225.
One can see just by looking at Hollister that he thrived in UW’s winter and offseason conditioning program, along with its added emphasis on proper nutrition. Hollister is the probable starter when the 2015 season begins in early September, and is getting more looks as both a blocker and pass-catcher.
“Looking back a couple of years ago I never thought I’d be where I’m at right now,” Hollister said. “Now it feels like I’ve played tight end my whole life. It’s weird to think I was a quarterback a couple of years ago. I think playing quarterback has helped me with my routes. The blocking took a while to get a hold of, but now I feel like I’m developing that part of my game.”
For more on Hollister and UW’s two other young but talented tight ends, see Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.