Trindon Holliday
refer to caption
Holliday with the Denver Broncos in 2013
No. 16, 11, 19
Position:Wide receiver / Return specialist
Personal information
Born: (1986-04-27) April 27, 1986 (age 38)
Zachary, Louisiana, U.S.
Height:5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight:166 lb (75 kg)
Career information
High school:Northeast (Pride, Louisiana)
College:LSU
NFL draft:2010 / Round: 6 / Pick: 197
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receptions:2
Receiving yards:17
Return yards:2,224
Total touchdowns:4
Player stats at PFR

Trindon Jerard Holliday (born April 27, 1986) is a former American football wide receiver and return specialist. He was selected by the Houston Texans in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL draft. He played college football at LSU. At 5'5", Holliday is one of the shortest players in NFL history.[1] He was also a member of the Denver Broncos, New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers, and Oakland Raiders.

Early life

Holliday went both ways at Northeast High, in Pride, Louisiana. Because of his short stature, Holliday did not start on the football team until his junior year. In his first season starting, he rushed for 1,870 yards and scored 26 touchdowns. In his senior year, Holliday put up even better statistics by rushing for 2,210 yards, scoring 34 touchdowns, and averaging 27.6 yards per punt return.[2]

Holliday was also a track runner in high school. In 2005, Holliday posted the nation’s fastest indoor time in the 55 and 60-meter dashes. He led his team into the 2A state title by winning the 100 meters and 200 meters and was second in the long jump.[3] Holliday was a four-time state champion in the 200 meters and a three-time 100 meters champion.

College career

Holliday playing football for the LSU Tigers

Football

Holliday played football for the LSU Tigers football team from 2006–2009. In that time, he recorded eight touchdowns: four rushing, two on punt returns and two on kick returns.[4]

Track and field

Holliday was a top-ranked American sprinter competing for the LSU Tigers track and field team and is regarded as one of the fastest players in football.[2] He demonstrated his sprinting ability in the 100-meter dash at the 2007 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, where he recorded 10.07 seconds in the final – ahead of Walter Dix and second only to Tyson Gay.[5] This qualified him for the 2007 World Championships in Athletics but he opted to not compete, preferring to begin the football season with the LSU Tigers.[6] He continued to race, however, and reached the semi-finals in the 100 m at the 2008 United States Olympic Trials the following year.[7]

In his first year at LSU in 2007, he broke Xavier Carter's school record and became the Southeastern Conference 100 m champion. At the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship later that year he set a personal record in the semifinals and finished runner-up in the final to Walter Dix. The following year, he took third in the 100 m NCAA final and anchored the 4×100-meter relay team to victory in 38.42 seconds – the fastest collegiate time that year.[6][8]

Track and Field News has Holliday recorded at 6.19 over 55 meters indoors in 2005, leading the nation.[9]

Personal records
Event Time (seconds) Venue Date
55 meters 5.8 Gainesville, Florida February 24, 2006
60 meters 6.54[10] Fayetteville, Arkansas March 15, 2008
100 meters 10.00[10] Fayetteville, Arkansas June 10, 2009
200 meters 20.58 [10] Fayetteville, Arkansas February 14, 2009

At some point after leaving the NFL in 2015, Trindon Holliday returned to LSU to complete his college degree. He graduated in the summer semester of 2023 with a bachelor's degree.[11]

Professional career

Pre-draft

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
5 ft 5+14 in
(1.66 m)
166 lb
(75 kg)
28+12 in
(0.72 m)
8+14 in
(0.21 m)
4.34 s 1.52 s 2.58 s 4.48 s 6.54 s 42.0 in
(1.07 m)
9 ft 8 in
(2.95 m)
10 reps
All values from NFL Combine[12][13]

Leading up to the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine, Trindon Holliday had hoped to break Chris Johnson's record mark of 4.24 in the 40-yard dash.[14] Holliday had self-reported running times as fast as 4.21,[14] which seemed plausible given his extensive track background, and the fastest 100 m dash time of any football player in NCAA history.[2][15] At the combine, reports of Holliday's 40-yard dash time ranged from between 4.18 seconds and 4.34 seconds. Adam Schefter, an ESPN reporter on hand at the event, had reported on Twitter that NFL scouts had clocked Holliday in as low as 4.21 during the workout.[16] However, the NFL Network broadcast team record Holliday's two tries at unofficial times of 4.27 and 4.32,[17] respectively, and ultimately published it as 4.34 seconds officially.[18]

Houston Texans

Holliday with the Texans in 2012

Holliday was selected by the Houston Texans in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL draft.[19] Despite his speed, Holliday struggled on kickoff returns in the preseason. He was placed on IR because of a fracture in his thumb. On September 3, 2011, he was cut and then placed on the practice squad. On October 5, his practice squad contract was terminated and he was later added to the active roster, but was waived on October 25. He was later resigned and in Week 1 of the 2012 preseason versus the Carolina Panthers, he returned a kickoff return for a touchdown. The next week versus the San Francisco 49ers, he returned a punt for a touchdown. In the final preseason game versus the Minnesota Vikings, Holliday recorded his third touchdown in four games; this touchdown was a 76-yard punt return. Following the 2012 preseason, Holliday made the Houston Texans 53-man roster and was the starting punt and kick returner. Holliday was waived from the Texans on October 10, 2012, in a move to bolster an injury-depleted defense. Part of the reason Holliday was released was due to his fumbling problems. Trindon fumbled the ball 6 times in 2012, however losing only one of them.[20]

Denver Broncos

On October 11, 2012, Holliday was claimed off of waivers by the Denver Broncos.[21] On October 15, in his first game as a Bronco, Holliday fumbled and lost the ball on a punt return in the first quarter of the game. He returned a kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals on November 4, 2012, breaking the Broncos record for the longest play. On November 11, 2012, he returned a Carolina Panthers punt for 76 yards. The play was ruled a touchdown despite his fumbling of the ball on the 1 yard line.[22] In 2012, Holliday's teams went undefeated during the regular season. He started the season with the Texans who were 5-0 when they cut him. He was then acquired by the Broncos who finished the regular season 13-3 with an 11-game win streak.[23]

On January 12, 2013, Holliday returned a punt in the first quarter of the game versus the Baltimore Ravens for a 90-yard touchdown, the longest punt return in postseason history.[24] On the opening kickoff of the second half, he returned it for a 104-yard touchdown. He became the first player in NFL history with a punt return touchdown and a kick return touchdown in the same postseason game. He had 256 total punt and kick return yards but the Broncos lost, 38-35 in double overtime.[25]

In the 2013 season, Holliday returned a punt 81 yards for a touchdown in week 2 against the New York Giants. He also returned a kick-off 105 yards for a touchdown in week 4 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

As of 2017's NFL off-season, Trindon Holliday held at least 11 Broncos franchise records, including:

New York Giants

On March 17, 2014, Holliday signed a one-year contract with the New York Giants.[26][27] He was released on October 6, 2014.[28]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Holliday signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 21, 2014. He was waived/injured on October 31, 2014.

San Francisco 49ers

On December 26, 2014, the San Francisco 49ers signed Holliday.[29] He was released on April 30, 2015.[30]

Oakland Raiders

On June 3, 2015, the Oakland Raiders signed Holliday. He was expected to compete with T. J. Carrie for the No. 1 returner job for the Raiders.[31] On September 1, 2015, he was released by the Raiders.[32]

Issues with size

Holliday returns a kickoff in the second half against South Carolina on September 22, 2007.

At 5'5" (1.65 m), Holliday is the shortest player to play in the NFL in the last 25 years. Deuce Vaughn, drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 6th round of the 2023 NFL draft, also has a listed height of 5'5".[33] Holliday had a difficult time getting started in football. His mother held him out of football until 7th grade, because she was afraid he would be injured. After several years of performing at a high level, his high school coaches finally let him start as a running back during his junior year. In his senior year he accumulated over 2,000 yards and over 30 touchdowns, leading Northeast High to back-to-back State Semi-Final appearances.

Fearing that college recruiters would not believe Holliday's actual running times, his high school coaches added to his recorded times before sending them in.[citation needed] Despite his speed records, several schools, including Duke and Louisiana-Lafayette, rejected Holliday due to his small size.

Holliday was never scheduled to appear at LSU's camp. So David Masterson, Holliday's high school coach, took Holliday along also. After initial workouts, Holliday ran the 40 in 4.28 seconds wearing high top basketball shoes. The time was so outrageous that the LSU coaches began arguing if they had started their stopwatches on time. "They asked me if Trindon could run it again," Masterson said. "He didn't even get in a track stance. He ran the second 40 in 4.27. He's one of those little freaks of nature." Despite this, LSU coach Les Miles still considered canceling Holliday's scholarship offer until holdover offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher convinced Miles that Holliday could play at a college level.[34]

References

  1. ^ "Little Big Men – The NFL's shortest players". NFL.com. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "LSU Tigers: Trindon Holliday". LSUsports.net. April 12, 2010. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  3. ^ Raanan, Jordan (March 17, 2014). "Trindon Holliday: Five things to know about the Giants return specialist". NJ.com. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  4. ^ "Trindon Holliday". sports-reference.com. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
  5. ^ "2007 USA Outdoor 100 m final". USATF. Retrieved February 8, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Trindon Holliday. USATF (2008). Retrieved on December 27, 2009.
  7. ^ 2008 Team USA Trials Men 100 Meter Dash Semi Finals. USATF. Retrieved on December 27, 2009.
  8. ^ 4x100 Metres Relay 2008. IAAF (February 20, 2009). Retrieved on December 27, 2009.
  9. ^ "Track & Field News: Lists: 2004: Indoor: Men's High School". Trackandfieldnews.com. Archived from the original on November 18, 2011. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  10. ^ a b c "TRINDON HOLLIDAY - ATHLETE PROFILE". IAAF. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  11. ^ https://www.lsu.edu/commencement/lists/graduates/2023-08.php
  12. ^ "Trindon Holliday Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  13. ^ "2010 Draft Scout Trindon Holliday, LSU NFL Draft Scout College Football Profile". Draft Scout. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  14. ^ a b Jason Feller (February 25, 2010). "LSU's Holliday has big plans for the 40". NFL.com.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". pathtothedraft.com. Archived from the original on November 25, 2011. Retrieved June 30, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ Adam Schefter [@AdamSchefter] (November 4, 2010). "There's smoke coming off the track: LSU WR Trindon Holliday just recorded one of fastest 40-yard dashes ever run in Indy, a blazing 4.22" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  17. ^ Frank Tadych (February 27, 2010). "Holliday misses 4.23 in 40, but he's still plenty fast". NFL.com.
  18. ^ Jason Feller (February 27, 2010). "Holliday officially clocked at 4.34, Campbell 4.85". NFL.com.
  19. ^ "2010 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved May 13, 2023.
  20. ^ "Trindon Holliday Game by Game Stats and Performance | ESPN".
  21. ^ Broncos Claim Trindon Holliday off Waivers – Mile High Report
  22. ^ Broncos return man Trindon Holliday loses ball at 1-yard line, still awarded TD – Eye On Football
  23. ^ Samano, Simon (December 31, 2012). "Broncos' Trindon Holliday just might end up perfect". USA Today Sports. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  24. ^ "Divisional Can't -Miss Play: Trindon Holliday 89-yard punt return TD". NFL.com. January 12, 2013. Retrieved January 12, 2013.
  25. ^ "Watch Baltimore Ravens vs. Denver Broncos [1/12/13]". NFL.com. January 12, 2013. Retrieved February 8, 2013.
  26. ^ Breech, John (March 17, 2014). "Report: Giants agree to one-year deal with KR Trindon Holliday". CBSSports.com. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  27. ^ Eisen, Michael (March 18, 2014). "Giants add return specialist Trindon Holliday". Giants.com. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  28. ^ Florio, Mike. "Giants release Trindon Holliday from injured reserve". Pro Football Talk. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  29. ^ Alper, Josh (December 26, 2014). "49ers send Alex Boone to IR, sign Trindon Holliday". NBCSports.com. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  30. ^ Alper, Josh. "49ers sign Philip Wheeler, release Trindon Holliday". Pro Football Talk. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
  31. ^ "Raiders sign return man Trindon Holliday". NFL.com. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  32. ^ Durkin, Jimmy (September 1, 2015). "Raiders place Watson on injured reserve". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  33. ^ "*Deuce Vaughn - RB - Kansas State - 2023 Draft Scout/NCAA College Football". Draft Scout. Retrieved May 1, 2023.
  34. ^ Higgins, Ron (October 4, 2007). "Speedy Holliday provides LSU offense with another weapon". ESPN. Retrieved November 14, 2011.