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Alec Holler Earned a Scholarship with UCF, Then Scored His First Touchdown for the Knights

Alec Holler came to UCF as a walk-on, but now the talented tight end is making his mark on the gridiron after being awarded a scholarship from Coach Malzahn.

Orlando, Fla. - Just about every college football season, there are players that seemingly pop up out of nowhere and become key contributors for their teams. Obviously, it is no different for UCF, who had four players score their first touchdown while wearing a Knights uniform against Boise State.

One player was different from the rest. Alec Holler, a redshirt junior tight end from Winter Park, Fla. already made his mark. He was expected to just be a blocking tight end, but stepped up big time.

Alec Holler, Tight End, UCF

Alec Holler, Tight End, UCF

Holler arrived on campus as a walk-on in 2018, after an impressive senior season with Trinity Prep, putting up 1,329 yards and 15 touchdowns from 69 receptions. Despite his success in high school, Holler saw no action during his freshman campaign.

Returning in 2019, Holler was working with the scout team before a knee injury ended his season in October. Before he had an opportunity to showcase his talent, his season already concluded.

Then in 2020, after returning from injury, Holler finally was able to take the field for his hometown Knights. He appeared in all 10 games of the shortened season, playing as a blocking tight end and on special teams.

One could understand if Holler entered the transfer portal and looked for an opportunity to showcase his skills, but he decided to stay firm and push for his opportunity.

That opportunity came in a big way.

The arrival of new Head Football Coach Gus Malzahn, and a new football staff, created an even bigger competition this Spring for tight end repetitions. Holler continued plugging away, earning his opportunities, and eventually in a heartwarming moment, was awarded a scholarship by Malzahn.

Then after months of hard practices and weightlifting sessions, Holler was named the backup tight end for UCF’s game against Boise State. Holler and the Knights had to wait through nearly three hours of lightning delays before getting to take the field against the Broncos.

After falling down early, Malzahn inserted Holler in for a boost to the blocking game, which sparked a big drive, getting the Knights down to the 23 yard line.

That’s when Holler’s moment arrived. After releasing from his block, Holler was left wide open coming across the field when quarterback Dillon Gabriel found him with a well thrown pass. Holler turned upfield and started running with only one man between him and the endzone.

He made a quick move and lowered his shoulder, bouncing off the Boise State defender, into the endzone for his first score on what was also his first career catch.

Holler went on to be featured even more in the offense, as both a blocker and a route runner, than any other tight end on the roster. Holler caught another crucial pass, this time for a first down with the team leading late in the fourth quarter. The Knights went on to win the game 36 to 31, with the former walk-on a central piece of the victory.

Wrapping Up

Holler showed that with hard work, you can earn a spot on the roster. However, to earn the opportunity to do something special you need to push harder than anyone else. Which is exactly what he did, and it’s why he now has a big role within the UCF team.

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With Holler now fully engaged in Coach Malzahn’s offense, it will be interesting to see how much he’s used against Bethune-Cookman and throughout the rest of the season.

You will find me on Twitter @ucf_weekly and Instagram at ucf_weekly

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