Sports Spotlight: East Carteret’s Hollingsworth follows own path to NC State football

Local former NFL lineman helps train Mariner to reach college dreams
Pepsi Sports Spotlight East Carteret football lineman Aiden Hollingsworth
Pepsi Sports Spotlight East Carteret football lineman Aiden Hollingsworth(WITN)
Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 11:32 PM EST
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BEAUFORT, N.C. (WITN) - It’s been really hard for the high school football senior class to find college spots with the COVID year of eligibility and the transfer portal.

Limited space, means limited scholarships. But for East Carteret’s Aiden Hollingsworth the path is all about fate. He’s this week’s Pepsi Sports Spotlight.

“Anything I put my mind to, I can get and I can achieve,” says East Carteret senior lineman Aiden Hollingsworth.

For East Carteret senior lineman Aiden Hollingsworth faith in his path made him pass on one of those few scholarships to FCS Charleston Southern.

“They didn’t have my major. I love the program, I love the coaches,” says Aiden, “When I actually had to call Coach Coley, the defensive line coach, it felt like a break up.”

A major choice made by a major impact.

“Sports management with a minor in business,” says Aiden, “I want to be a personal trainer.”

After three or four years on varsity Aiden was still not getting any college looks.

“It was senior year and we got into it. We went to 15 football camps,” Hollingsworth says, “Went till like the small little meeting camp and my trainer Purvis was there. He saw me and saw me perform and everything and he was like I want you.”

Catching the eye, lead to working with former Swansboro, UNC, and NFL lineman Andre Purvis.

“Meet up a couple times a week in a small park Fort Benjamin,” says Hollingsworth, “He is just pushing me to be the best player, best person I could be.”

“He’s gotten bigger, he’s gotten faster, he’s been in the weight room, been working hard with his trainer,” says East Carteret head coach B.J. Williams, “been able to see a lot of development. A lot of growth.”

Work with him lead to preferred walk on offers ultimately choosing NC State last Wednesday.

“I love it there. The coaches made me feel welcome, Coach Ros is the best Coach I’ve ever met,” Aiden says, “He knows what I can do and that’s why I think he immediately gave me the opportunity as soon as he saw me at camp.”

After playing both sides of the line in high school Aiden now focuses on getting after the quarterback. He plans to keep working hard thing towards that elusive scholarship with the Wolfpack.

“He’s going to get there there’s some adjustments that has to happen,” says Williams who played in college at App State, “like speed of the game is going to be a lot faster, playbooks going to be a lot bigger and he just has to continue to do what he was doing here.”

“I 100% know when I get there I will work my tail off and earn that scholarship,” Aiden says.

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