When East Ridge Raptors commit to play college football you can just about bet your butt that they’re about to make an impact. Dating back to the days of JC Hassenauer the Raptors have put some absolute studs into the college ranks, and this is even more true when it comes to East Ridge #d3football ballers. 2015 graduate Kyle Kilgore was an All-American at Bethel University in Arden Hills, Ethan March was an All-MIAC Second Team honoree last season for St. Olaf, Zach Bennett has played in 19 games in his career for the Tommies in St. Paul, Griffen Davis registered 85 tackles and 4 interceptions in two years at UW-Stevens Point, and University of Wisconsin-Stout on the 28th of April, and boy did the Blue Devils get a good one. A ferocious and relentless lineman in the trenches who uses his hands well and eats up 1-on-1 blockers from his DL position to get after the ball-carrier and moves and blocks really well on the outside as a pulling guard, Hollister is a commit I would be really excited about as WIAC recruiter, and NFN was lucky enough to have the senior answer a few questions about his recruitment process, ultimate decision to join the Blue Devils, East Ridge’s 2019 season, and more. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy! Senior Season Highlights is poised for a big career at UST after registering 17 tackles and a sack last fall as a freshman. The latest East Ridge standout to commit to DIII life is lineman Drew Hollister, and the recipient of this “Commitment Report” gives Northstar Football News a lot of confidence that he will continue this tradition of success for Raptors in the DIII grind after receiving an All-District award this past fall. The 6’0, 245 lb. senior announced his commitment to the
NFN: Hello and congrats on the commitment, Drew! Please begin by introducing yourself and telling us what you love most about football.
Hollister: “My name is Drew Hollister I played offensive guard and Defensive end for the East Ridge high school. I was named all Suburban East conference for 19-20 season as a senior. I was born in Dayton, Ohio. In my free time I like to hang out with the boys. What I like about football is playing under the lights on a Friday or Saturday night with a entire city cheering for you to beat the guy across from you.”
NFN: Now tell us about the recruiting process as a whole. When did you begin hearing from schools and how did it feel to be hit up by colleges?You hadn’t reported much recruitment activity on Twitter, can you give us some insight into who you were in contact with and what happened with that process?
Hollister: “Coming into the senior year I wasn’t on anyone’s radar for any college at the time. As I went on through the season many teams start to notice me especially once the season ended colleges started to contact me more. I was humble about all the schools contacting me. But I really was excited about it. I got official visits/ game day invites from a couple schools like: University of Dubuque Iowa, University of Minnesota-Morris, University of Wisconsin- Stout, and so on. I went to them but I didn’t report anything because my full attention was towards the football season. I ended up with 2 official roster spots in the end of everything. University of Dubuque Iowa and University of Wisconsin-Stout.”
NFN: What ultimately made you commit to the Blue Devils? What did you like about the program and what made them stand out for you?
Hollister: “I chose Stout for multiple reasons actually…I actually got in contact with Stout through East Ridge. Coach Destache came to East Ridge to meet with me. Gave me some visit dates and so I attended one of them. When I first got there I met Coach Destache, my recruiting coach and the defensive coordinator, and he showed me around campus. The campus was beautiful and he had some of this players available to actually give me a players tour and give me a insight of the program and honestly just hang out with them which was fun. I then met with the rest of the coaching staff and talked to the head coach. He then proceeded to tell me why they liked me and why they wanted me. It felt really good to know that I’m wanted. They told me that I’m really physical and very aggressive and fast for Dline and that’s why they wanted me. I’m a very humble person when it comes to compliments but it felt good for someone to say “ we want you”. Shortly after that he slid over a paper with a official offer. It felt great to see that in front of me. To see all the hard work over the offseason and season pay of for the college level. But besides that I honestly felt welcome as soon as I got there. The core values of the program are really essential to me when being recruited. They had a great weight room and a great speed/strength coach who actually, lucky enough, showed me what they were currently doing for lifting for the day. But the core values really showed me what stout is about. F.A.M.I.L.Y—GRIT—TRUST—MATURITY. Not only that but they honor military with one game every year(for at least they told me) . This hit home for me and my family. We’re a military family and it felt great to be honored in a way. I was only talking to only one other college when it came down to the end University of Dubuque Iowa and Stout were my final two..and well I’m pretty sure we know which came out on top!”
NFN: Now give us some details about yours and East Ridge’s 2019 season. What were some big and memorable games for you and what do you have to say about your personal career now that it’s all said and done?
Hollister: “My senior year was great I wouldn’t of changed it for the world. I loved playing for my teammates and for my school. I came into the year thinking I was going to be playing DE like the years before that but this year the team needed me at guard. Though I did get to see both sides of the ball I was limited on defense. I was a key role for the oline at guard. Though I didn’t like the fact I wasn’t seeing defense as much as I wanted too I did it anyways because I’m a team player and really didn’t complain at all. Most of my teammates saw me a as a team leader at the end of the year ( was not Captain). Probably the craziest game I’ve played this year was East Ridge @ Mounds View with the 41-40 win while it was snowing and we’ve just barely won with a game saving int. But by far the most meaning full and biggest game for me was senior night vs Stillwater. This game meant a lot to me as it was my senior game and probably the best game I’ve ever played. We trailed for most of the game until the fourth. I remember having to run the same exact run play as kicking guard 2 possessions in a row. Both ending in touchdowns. I remember coming off of the field to my Oline coach in awe. But my career personally was just being the team player and being a one of the leaders of the team. And leaving all my aggressiveness and physicality on the field.”
NFN: What position will you be playing in college and what kind of player is Stout getting?
Hollister: “I will be playing Dline (DT/DE) at Stout. The type of player they’ll be getting is exaclty what they told me when I first visited them. A fast, aggressive, physical, and a hard working DLineman.”
NFN: What is appealing to you about #d3football? What do the Blue Devils offer in terms of DIII schools that you found unique?
Hollister: “D3 football is appealing to me because it’s in a more laid back then a D1 or D2 school and I find most D 3 schools like stout have a small campus more hands on with the students like me. Stout is planning to getting a remodel if not a new building for the athletics and better facilitys for the players which I found great.”
Good luck, Drew!