Over the past couple of years, we have seen quite a bit of talent come out of the AAF, the XFL, and even The Spring League, even though neither league was able to make it through a full season. Players across the board have made it to the NFL level, and some have made an impact on the teams they’ve joined.
However, there are hundreds of players who have showcased their talents in these alternative leagues, yet have not been given a chance on an NFL team. Nick Holley is one of those. Over the past couple of years, he has proved himself to be a skilled football player, despite all of the injuries he’s had to deal with. Let’s take a more in depth look at why he should be getting attention from NFL teams.
XFL Career | Houston Roughnecks
Nick Holley was able to make a return to the football field in 2020 with the XFL, and made his name known on the Houston Roughnecks. Even though he’s endured three torn ACLs, and a broken back, he continues to pursue the game he loves. The XFL gave him a golden opportunity, and he made the most of it.
Through five weeks of play, Nick Holley was a star. He finished the short season with 21 catches for 267 yards, and two touchdowns. His breakout game came in week four, when he put up 8 receptions for 97 yards and a score against the Dallas Renegades. While he originally was listed as a running back, June Jones (Houston Roughnecks HC) decided to move him to slot wide receiver, because of how well he ran routes. This was a fantastic move, and proved to be one that made Houston’s offense even more dangerous than it already was.
Nick Holley is becoming a star right in front of our eyes
Unfortunately, the XFL had to end its season due to the pandemic, and we only got to see Holley play for five weeks. His numbers would’ve been even more impressive if the league had been able to complete the year. Despite these phenomenal numbers (and film), Holley didn’t get any offers from the NFL. After not playing football for several months, Holley was able to find his way into The Spring League.
The Spring League Career | Conquerors
The Spring League, a developmental football league, had their season in San Antonio. Since COVID made them cancel things for the Spring, they ended up having their short four week schedule in the fall. Disappointingly, the league only made it through three weeks, before shutting down due to the pandemic.
During the league’s short tenure, Nick Holley played with the Conquerors, who finished the season 1-2. Unfortunately, we don’t know Holley’s final stats, as the TSL really struggled with getting important information out for viewers to see. With that being said, if you watched any of the Conquerors games, you’d know that Holley made an impact.
One of his best performances came in their final game, against the Aviators, where he caught a touchdown, and then blocked a punt:
Nick Holley with a receiving TD and a blocked punt on back to back series last night.
At the end of the day, Nick Holley has put together some impressive film for himself after playing in the XFL, and The Spring League in 2020. Considering the fact that this pandemic has completely plagued the entire year, it has limited the opportunities for players like Holley.
However, he continues to pursue the few opportunities he gets, and has shone in every single one of them. His passion for the game is exhilarating, and you can’t help but root for someone like Holley after all he’s been through.
It’s only a matter of time before Holley gets another look from an NFL team. He had a short stint with the Los Angeles Rams in 2018, but didn’t gain any traction (and also suffered an injury there), and hasn’t been back to the league since. But, he’s been grinding his tail off trying to get back to a professional level, and we hope to see him make it to the top soon.
Who are some players from the XFL that you think deserve a shot in the NFL? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!