Stanford all-America Brian Holloway, a former star at Churchill High School, was not disappointed that he was chosen by the New England Patriots yesterday just ahead of the Washington Redskins' first-round selection in the NFL draft.
"Maybe the Redskins wouldn't have taken me, anyway," the offensive lineman said on the telephone yesterday. "Only they know. I'm not disappointed that I didn't get picked by the Redskins, I'm a New England Patriot now."
There's little doubt that, had the Patriots not snapped him up, the 6-foot-6, 270-pound Holloway would have been picked by Washington and made the trip from his Potomac, Md., home to Redskin Park in record time for the afternoon press conference.
Regarded as one of the top offensive lineman in the nations, Holloway, the 19th player chosen, said his being drafted is only the beginning.
"Talk to me in August, when it's hot and nasty," said Holloway, who bench presses 450 pounds and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.9 seconds. "I'm excited now and it's an exhilarating feeling, being picked in the first round.
"It's a big transition from college to pro and I realize I have a lot to learn. I want to get across the fact that I'm a team player, not a shotshot big mouth just out of college. I've improved every year and I think I'm just now realizing my potential."
Another area player, defensive end Keith Gary of Oklahoma, was picked in the first round by the Pittsburgh Steelers. A Washington, D.C., native, Gary traveled around the world with his parents, who were in the armed forces, before playing his senior year at Chantilly High School. Relatively unknown, Gary went to Ferrum JC before transferring to Oklahoma for his final two years.
Two Maryland players were chosen defensive back Lloyd Burruss, by Kansas City in the third round, and tight end Eric Sievers, by San Diego in the fourth round. Sievers went to Washington-Lee High School in Arlington. Virginia running back Tommy Vigorito was taken in the fifth round by Miami.
Holloway, a B student who will graduate with a degree in economics next month, said being picked by the Patriots probably offered the best situation for him.
"I watch a lot of NFL players, one of them being John Hannah (New England all-pro guard) and Shelby Jordan (New England tackel). I can learn a lot from those two people," Holloway said. "I'm looking forward to it."