University of Buffalo (UB) wide-receiver, Kamathi Holsey, is no stranger to adversity. He’s also no stranger to successfully overcoming it.

Holsey, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound wideout from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a Junior College transfer who enjoyed a breakout senior campaign. This stellar performance should catapult him toward a prosperous career in the NFL. With a strong character to match his standout skills on the field, any NFL team would be fortunate to draft him.

Perhaps best known for choosing to attend UB (instead of Troy University) on National Signing Day 2016, Holsey has been one of the Bulls most productive players. In 2017, the Bulls were 22nd in the country in passing and offense. Holsey was a large part of the reason why. He finished the season with 32 receptions for 548 yards and a touchdown.

However, it was his off-the-field wisdom that made him invaluable. Holsey was able to impart his vast knowledge to underclassmen because he has seen it all. From academic struggles to overcoming homelessness, this young man has taken the hits and come back strong to tell the tale. He has trust in what he called “The Process” of life and that positivity will continue to lead him to success.

(cred. UB Spectrum)

I was fortunate and honored to speak to him recently. Below is an excerpt of that chat, including his reflections on his time at UB, his NFL aspirations, and the type of man that he is well on his way to becoming:

MD: The Bulls were quietly one of the great turnaround stories in college football this year. The team went from 2-10 in 2016, to a turnaround that should have resulted in a Bowl game. What were some of the highlights for you this season?

KH: I would say the ‘Seven-Overtime’ game against Western Michigan {referring to the highest-scoring game in college football history, a 71-68 Bulls’ loss to Western Michigan}. We were down 31-10 and came back to force overtime with our backup QB. I actually scored the first touchdown of overtime. I thought it was over right there. But, Western Michigan is a great team as well. We kept trading scores for seven overtimes. Even though it was a loss, this was a great learning experience. We saw what we could be. It was a turning point for our team for the rest of the season. Right now, that is my fondest memory, and probably always will be.

MD: You were a featured option in a passing attack that also included Anthony Johnson, they say friendly competition can be the most productive. How did that help you to elevate your game as the season progressed?

KH: AJ is a great receiver and his stats speak for themselves. He is my best friend on the team. We always worked out together and his play motivated me to be better each and every day. When he makes plays, it’s contagious. When he made plays, I wanted to make plays. We pushed each other to be better and it worked well this year.

MD: With an eye on NFL Pro-Day, you have some training coming up. What are some of the areas of your game that you will be working on, in hopes of catching the eye of a scout?

KH: As a big guy, I want to focus on the 40 [yard-dash}. I know that the scouts will be watching my speed, and I am striving for a great time.  Also, the bench press is an area that I will be working on as well. Strength is important.

MD: What was the most rewarding thing that you learned at Buffalo that will help you in the NFL?

KH: Coach Rob [Ianello] is a great coach and has experience developing wide receivers regardless of size. He has coached guys like Golden Tate and Michael Floyd— just seeing that really helped me with my confidence.

Even more than that, attending UB (Buffalo) gave me Coach Rob. He had a great way of breaking down coverages for us. He taught us the value of reading the safeties. That will help to give me an advantage at the next level.

MD: To play in the NFL is a dream for every football player. Of course, it’s the dream of an NFL team to draft a player that embodies the spirit of competition. Besides great physical talent, what will an NFL team be getting when they draft Kamathi Holsey

KH: If blessed with that opportunity, they will be getting a guy that is totally committed to the program…hard working..big and fast receiver that can be a red zone threat.

MD: Do you have any parting “Words of Wisdom” for aspiring athletes?

KH: Absolutely…never give up. Especially for the younger kids, don’t give up on your dreams. Remember, anything is possible. With me coming from a tough neighborhood in Philly, I never believed in quitting. Despite the struggles, keep moving forward and you will overcome it.

I want my story to serve as an inspiration…I can get emotional thinking about my mom and I struggling with homelessness and living in a shelter for a while. In Philadelphia Through perseverance and hard work, we made it and her love and my determination helped me to get the opportunity to play Division One college football.

MD: It was a pleasure speaking with you, Kamathi. Best of luck with workouts next week and we at Full Press Coverage know that this is just the beginning of big things for you.

KH: Thank you, appreciate the opportunity and it was a pleasure talking to you. Happy New Year!

You may Follow Kamathi on Twitter: @woo215_

 

Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and National Columnist at Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the NFL and the New England Patriots. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC

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