If rookie wide receiver Mack Hollins weren't playing football, the 23-year-old would probably be working with exotic animals.
The Rockville, Maryland native breeds African Cichlid fish and owns two pet snakes, a Sunglow Boa named Nikiti and a Ball Python. After being scarcely recruited in high school, Hollins embarked on his collegiate journey at North Carolina as a walk-on on the football team, but left as one of the most illustrious receivers to ever put on a Tar Heels uniform. Since becoming an Eagle, Hollins bikes to and from practice every day. His lifelong dream is to own a world-renowned aquarium and to make his relationship with exotic animals more intriguing, his grandfather in Ohio owned a lion that was kept in a cage about half the size of an NFL end zone.
What was your experience like when you saw the lion for the first time?
"It's not one of those chill in the house lions like on TV where they're sleeping with it. I met the lion one time. My dad's dad was the one who actually had the lion and we saw it one time when I was maybe 11 or 12. That was the last time I saw it."
How do you manage to take care of your pet snakes?
"I feed them once a week, one of them went 12 weeks without eating. They don't have to be fed all the time. All of their heating is automatic so I can just leave them there during Training Camp and not have to worry about them. Whereas a dog, or really any other animal, you'd have to feed every day."
What was it like to cross the end zone on your 38-yard catch-and-run touchdown during the preseason?
"It was good. I felt like it was a culmination of a lot of work but to me, it's just a practice game that hasn't really counted yet. It's just like scoring (in practice) but it's good to get in there and kind of know that I can compete with other teams and know that I'm ready to go at any moment."
How have you been adjusting to Philadelphia?
"Once I get some free time I'll be able to explore and see what I really want to do around here. When I get some time, I'll go fish and then I was thinking about (getting) an alligator or a shark but those are different size tanks."