DALLAS, Texas – Virginia running back Mike Hollins has been selected as the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year. Former Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten presented Hollins with the award at a ceremony Thursday night (Feb. 15) in Frisco, Texas.

The Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year, presented by Albertson’s/Tom Thumb, is awarded to the Football Bowl Subdivision player who best demonstrates an outstanding record of leadership by exhibiting exceptional courage, integrity and sportsmanship.

“I am excited and honored to present the seventh annual Collegiate Man of the Year to Mike Hollins,” Witten said. “He is a great leader and an inspiration to us all. He overcame last year’s terrible shooting while attempting to help his teammates, and then made a return to the field to become a true team leader. He is a perfect example of what a college student-athlete can be.”

As a victim of the tragic shooting that took place at UVA in November of 2022, where Hollins lost three of his teammates while they were returning from a school field trip, his battle to come back to the field has inspired his classmates, the University and the community for his strength, determination and will. After being shot in the back while attempting to assist his teammates, Hollins was in critical condition, but has since completed an amazing journey back to the playing field. He now participates in visits to area schools, the Blue Ridge Juvenile Detention Center, the UVA Children’s Hospital and other team community service opportunities, and he was a member of the 2022 ACC Honor Roll and a 2023 ACC All-Academic team selection.

Hollins was chosen as the recipient of the award among three finalists, which also included Texas Tech’s Tony Bradford, Jr. and Michigan’s Blake Corum.

“Mike is a very deserving winner of this award,” Witten said. “It’s very difficult for the selection committee to choose a winner from these three finalists. Tony and Blake are both outstanding leaders and have taken active roles on campus and in the community. All three of these men have extremely bright futures.”

The Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year, presented by Albertsons and Tom Thumb, is the first college football honor to focus primarily on a player’s leadership, both on and off the field. The inaugural award was presented to UCF’s Shaquem Griffin in 2017. The second annual award was presented to Wisconsin’s D’Cota Dixon in 2018. Tennessee’s Trey Smith took home the honor in 2019, Sam Ehlinger of Texas won the award in 2020 and Josh Paschal of Kentucky in 2021. Deslin Alexandre of Pittsburgh received the honor last year.

A $10,000 contribution will be made in Hollins’s name to Virginia’s athletic scholarship fund. The contribution will be made by Jason Witten’s SCORE Foundation, the official charity of Jason and his wife Michelle. The SCORE Foundation, founded in 2007, has positively impacted tens of thousands of children and families in Texas and Tennessee over the last 17 years. The foundation operates its nationally-recognized SCOREkeepers program, which places trained male mentors on staff to work with children at family violence shelters, at nine shelters in the two states.

Hollins had previously been recognized for several other awards. He was named the Atlantic Coast Conference’s recipient of the Brian Piccolo Award given annually to the “most courageous” football player in the ACC. He was named the 2023 Comeback Player of the Year Award winner by the College Sports Communicators, the Associated Press and the Fiesta Bowl Organization. He shared that honor with Michigan running back Blake Corum and College of Holy Cross linebacker Jacob Dobbs. He was recognized by the Capital One-Orange Bowl with its Football Writers of America Association Courage Award for displaying courage on or off the field, including overcoming an injury or physical handicap and/or preventing a disaster or living through hardship.