One of the University of Virginia shooting victims intends to return to the gridiron.
Mike Hollins, a junior running back, survived a mass shooting on the way back from a school field trip earlier this week that claimed the lives of three of his teammates. His father, Mike Hollins Sr., spoke to The Athletic about his son’s desire to play football again.
The running back is expected to be out of the hospital “at some point this weekend or early next week,” the father said.
Hollins was shot in the back, and required surgeries to heal complications with his kidneys and small intestine. He could be fully recovered within 2-3 months.
“He’ll be fully recovered,” Hollins Sr. said. “He’s not going to stop playing football. It’s not in him. He’s not a quitter.”
Christopher Jones, a former walk-on on Virginia’s football team, allegedly opened fire on a group of students on a school bus that had just returned from a field trip to Washington D.C. to see a play based on the life of Emmett Till.
Virginia football players Devin Chandler, Lavel “Tyler” Davis and D’Sean Perry died in the shooting. Hollins’ father said his son wants to play for his fallen brethren.
“This is how my son thinks. It’s not about him,” Hollins Sr. said. “He’s going to play harder for his friends that died. He’s going to do it for them, not himself.”
Hollins’ mother, Brenda, spoke to ESPN earlier this week about how her son initially ran off the bus when gun shots rang out but returned to help others when he realized many had not followed.
“His classmates are grateful for him because they said he saved their lives,” Hollins’ mother told ESPN. “He was the first off the bus and told two of his classmates to run, and he went back.
“He said, ‘Mom, I went back. I needed to do something. I was going to beat on the windows because no one else was coming off the bus.’ He said, ‘I was going to beat on the windows. I was going to go on the bus and tell them to come on, get off.’”