JJ Hollingsworth Excited to Get on Arkansas’ Campus as Recruit, Met Jermial Ashley For First Time

Pig Trail Nation

Photo by Otis Kirk

FAYETTEVILLE — Greenland Class of 2022 defensive end JJ Hollingsworth wasted no time taking advantage of the NCAA rule once again allowing recruits to visit schools.

Hollingsworth, 6-4, 257, visited Arkansas on Tuesday and met new defensive line coach Jermial Ashley in person for the first time. Hollingsworth committed to Arkansas on July 24 which was 11 days after he was offered. Hollingsworth talked about his impressions of Ashley.

“It was my first time meeting him and you really can’t grasp how big he is,” Hollingsworth said. “He’s massive. He’s 6-6 or 6-7. He’s a real good guy too. He answered all mom’s questions. He’s really involved in a lot of stuff. He answered a lot of my questions. He’s a really good coach and I’m really looking forward to playing for him.”

As a junior for the 9-3 Pirates, Hollingsworth finished with 66 tackles, including 45 solo, 13.5 for loss, eight sacks and one forced fumble.

“We didn’t really talk where I was necessarily going to play,” Hollingsworth said. “We talked about defensive end, defensive tackle. What he was more or less saying is where I’m best fitted at. If I move really well on the outside I’m going to play on the outside. He was just saying I’m pretty big and stuff.

“I don’t think any of the coaches, like this is their first time ever seeing me, I don’t think……I mean I’ve leaned up a lot since I committed. I t hink they were shocked by it. How much muscle I have put on.”

Hollingsworth talked about how nice it was to actually be on campus and not rely on a virtual visit to see things.

“It was amazing,” Hollingsworth said. “It’s still pretty surreal. Getting on the campus and seeing everything it was so surreal. I got to put on a Razorback jersey for the first time in my life. That feeling you can’t beat it. It’s my first time on campus as a recruit, meeting the staff and the players.

“I can’t describe how the recruiting stuff was so amazing. I can’t describe all that was involved. Maddie (Pool) and Callie (Conway). I had a lot of questions and Maddie was on top of it. Callie showed us around. She was really amazing. I think that’s what is going to get us a lot of our recruits is just when they see how involved our staff is.”

Hollingsworth is looking forward to attending Arkansas’ games this fall as a recruit. That’s another thing they couldn’t do last season.

“I’m excited to come,” Hollingsworth said. “I’m going to be at every game I’m allowed to come to. The ones I can’t come to I will watch them on TV. I’m so excited to see how the team develops. Last season was Coach (Sam) Pittman’s first year up here. I think it’s going to be really good for us next year. I think we can go a lot farther than a lot of people are thinking.”

Arkansas will host official visitors this weekend. Hollingsworth will take his official visit to Arkansas for the Texas game the weekend of Sept. 10-12.

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