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An athlete and a scholar


His skills and work ethic have captured the attention of scouts throughout the league. Many believe the senior captain from Notre Dame is a sound blocker with the agility and speed to get downfield.

However, there are whispers that a commitment to his education has hindered his development as a football player.

Holloway is a computer engineering major at Notre Dame, where the courseload includes classes such as computer architecture, integrated circuits and numerical message. He understands the percentages involved in making the jump to the NFL.

"Every college football player's dream is to go to the NFL," the senior captain said. "However, you have to realize that out of a class of 25, maybe eight get drafted or even get a chance to play."

Despite being a good student, his academics forced him to miss some practices last season.

"It was a strain on me and the team," he said. "But we got past it and I was able to help get the team to the Fiesta Bowl this year."

Playing on an Irish offense focused on rushing the football, Holloway averaged nearly 17 yards per catch. His size (6-foot-2½, 255 pounds) and strength allowed him to pick up tough yardage after the catch.

The knock against Holloway is that he wasn't given the opportunity to showcase his talents as a receiver. In four years at Notre Dame, he caught only 41 passes for 692 yards and seven touchdowns. However, despite his lack of production, many believe he will reach his potential.

"I believe I will be a pleasant surprise for anyone who drafts me," he said. "Once the coaches and talent evaluators see me catch the ball, they will notice that I have good hands."

In preparation for April's draft, Holloway played in the Senior Bowl and is presently working with other college players, getting into shape for the annual Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

While he is anxious to showcase his talent, Holloway doesn't have a particular destination in mind.

"I feel that once I get into the NFL," the Georgia native said, "I will be able to mesh into any offensive scheme because I am versatile and I can be anything a coach wants me to be."

Shortly after the draft, Holloway will return to South Bend, where he is scheduled to graduate in May.

"Once my academic career is over, I'll be a much better football player," he said, referring to his off-the-field obligations. "I don't regret the decisions I made. I strongly believe that Notre Dame helped me become a better man."

Perhaps, scouts should call Jabari Holloway, the "prototypical" student-athlete.

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