Budding Kansas City star Hollinquest tries to conquer Los Angeles before college

By EFN Staff
Published: 06/28/2014

Talking with Kohl Hollinquest one would never know about his NFL bloodlines, he may never bring it up unless someone asks, and even then who knows. One would only know about his quest to overcome numerous personal odds to blaze a path for himself on the gridiron. Hollinquest’s early story is one that is just beginning but one of self sacrifice, hard work, and determination.

Hollinquest’s football journey started in Kansas City playing for Pembroke High School. As a freshman the now 6’3”, 205 pounder, was thrust into a starting role playing running back. Doing what was best for the team, and giving up the option to be just a quarterback or even a backup quarterback, the freshman excelled.

A move from Missouri to Los Angeles found Hollinquest having to reassert himself all over again, and doing something for the betterment of the team not of his own benefit.

The Trailblazers had a tough season on the gridiron in 2013. Despite some top talent on the squad injuries hampered the team from reaching full potential, case in point an offseason injury to quarterback talent Hollinquest. The Class of 2016 recruit had a devastating injury tearing his triceps from his ulna. While running an out route he came down perfectly, and horribly, on his arm to cause the devastating injury, one that required a titanium plate in his arm as part of his recovery.

The injury forced Hollinquest to miss three-fourths of Sierra Canyon’s 2013 season but when he returned the Chatsworth, California team just happened to go 3-1 making the playoffs and finishing the year 5-7 with him playing tight end, a position he had never played but took on just to get back on the field.

Kohl could have opted to sit the rest of the year to focus on playing quarterback in 2014 but, again, did what was best for the team and played despite not being 100 percent healed from his arm injury.

In a one-on-one interview with the budding Sierra Canyon star, Hollinquest opened up about transferring from Kansas City, Missouri to Los Angeles and coming back from an injury all with an eye to the future.

Kohl, Sierra Canyon had a rougher season than most thought they would last year, what happened?

“We did decently well. We had a lot of injuries and with only 35 players on the team we were missing a lot of talent on the field. I think we had seven players hurt and four who could not play because of California transfer rules. Still we played tough making the playoffs but lost in second round to Monrovia (62-10).”

To make up for some missed time on the field are you attending any camps this summer?

“I attended the USC and Princeton camp. I’m heading to the Harvard camp this weekend. I’m also attending the New England Elite Camp July 1-2.”

How did the USC camp go for you?

“I thought it went really well for me. I feel I separated myself from the other quarterbacks at the camp. I was accurate and got the ball out quickly. I’m good at predicting what will happen with the defenses and when the receiver will be open.”

Did you learn any new skills at the camp that will be helpful for you going forward?

“I learned how to better keep the safety where he needs to be while the play develops.”

How do the Trailblazers look going into the 2014 season?

“We’re looking pretty good. All of our starters can play now. We’ve picked up a lot of good players as transfers and the freshmen class is getting better. I think we’ll be good this year.”

What is the strength of this year’s football team?

“Our complicated offense and all the combinations we can do with it. Also how smart we are running the offense. I’ve never seen an offense more complicated in my life. So many things we have to read and look for from the defense before we get the ball off. We have a lot of different things we can run to keep the defense guessing.”

Who are some of the Sierra Canyon players fans should watch for this season?

“Isaiah Renfro (6’2”, 193 lbs) is one player to watch. He’s an All-American wide receiver selected to the Navy-US Army game. He’s heading to Washington. We have a transfer from Westlake, defensive end Hunter Mattox (6’5”, 255 lbs) who should be great for us. Running back Kaizer Butler (6’0”, 194 lbs) and both our corners, Bobby Cole and Eric Markes, are other players that fans should watch.”

What are your strengths on the field?

“I’m smart and I feel that I’m good at being consistent at getting the ball out or picking up yards with my feet when needed. I practice my footwork a lot, always trying to get better. I know I still have a lot to learn. Another strength of mine is I can fit the ball in any window I need to get it into.”

What are your personal goals for the 2014 football season?

“Develop my role as a quarterback and help my team do anything I can to win. That’s what it all comes down to, winning.”

Are you competing for the starting quarterback job or is that all yours?

“There is a competition between another sophomore and myself. I feel my chances to be the starter is 60-40 towards him. He’s been with the team since the seventh grade and knows the system. I came in the ninth grade season and I’m still learning.”

After your injury you came back to play tight end, any chance you will be moved to tight end again this season?

“For me I want to stay competitive at quarterback. I’d like to focus on quarterback and not moving to tight end.”

Is there a college or NFL player you model your game after?

“I like watching Cam Newton. I feel that I am most similar to him, personality and physically. I feel like I can be like him. I like his swag and how he plays, and the confidence that he plays with.”

What college programs are your favorites?

“My No. 1 is Stanford. Oregon is my favorite team to watch. Princeton, Brown, USC, and UCLA would be the other schools I really like.”

Based off your list of schools one can assume academics are important to you then?

“Yes, I carry a 3.9 GPA and take honors classes.”

Have you had an experience in your life that has inspired you with your football career?

“When I broke my leg (eighth grade year) that showed me when something stops you from what you want you have to fight forward and go forward from there. Don’t always look back. You got to look forward to make it better.”

Who has made the biggest impact on your football career to date?

“My mom has had the biggest impact. She moved my sister and me out here to California and she’s providing everything we need for a great life. I’ve been able to focus on sports and school. She’s taking care of us. The ways she’s helped me with football is amazing.”

Throughout the entire interview Kohl’s focus was all about football and the career he is trying to make for himself. Not once did he drop the fact that his father and Godfather are former USC and NFL players and his cousin is high-profile NFL superstar Richard Sherman (Stanford, Seattle Seahawks).

Kohl’s dad, Lamont Hollinquest, played linebacker for USC from 1988-1991, before leaving for a five year NFL career with the Washington Redskins and Packers winning the Super Bowl with Green Bay in 1997. Godfather Willie McGinest played defensive end for the Trojans for three years (1990-1993) earning Pac-8 All-Conference honors all three years before embarking on a 15-year NFL career that included two Pro Bowls and three Super Bowl Championships with the New England Patriots (1994-2005) before retiring as a member of the Cleveland Browns (2006-2008).

An athletic bloodline is one thing to have while playing high school football but Kohl does not seem to be happy with settling for raw athleticism to carry him to the next level. Hard work, determination, and overcoming odds were a reoccurring theme during his interview giving no doubt that this Hollinquest is sure to make a name for himself on the national level with some lucky college football program in the near future.