CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - UNC head coach Larry Fedora stresses practicing with a consistent focus and intensity each week to assure the same results on a weekly basis.
Junior wide receiver Mack Hollins, however, has taken it upon himself to give each week a different theme.
“’Ship Week, baby,” Hollins said on Tuesday when asked the slogan for the ACC Championship Game. “Championship Week.”
It started during the team’s preparation for Duke last month. Hollins got caught up in his surroundings, and the rest went viral.
“I think Duke week, I was just screaming ‘Duke Week,’” Hollins said. “And then it kind of turned into something else.
“It was hype, the bell was out here, and I was just real hype that day, and it carried over to Wednesday’s practice, and then Thursday, and then the next week, things were just falling into place.”
The tactic may not have been the reason behind UNC’s 66-31 drubbing of Duke, but it certainly didn’t hurt.
Since then, notable themes have been “Coastal Week” prior to the Virginia Tech game, due to UNC’s opportunity to win the division, and “State Week” before last Saturday’s rivalry matchup with the Wolfpack in Raleigh.
What started as an impulse has now become an expectation for Hollins.
“After the game Saturday, I’d say by Sunday at about noon, I’m either going to tweet or the guys text me, ‘What week is it?’” he said.
His personality is undeniably entertaining, and according to junior wide receiver Ryan Switzer, what he shows reporters is genuinely who he is.
“Mack’s weird,” Switzer said. “As a receiver, as one of his good buddies on the team, someone who’s around him a lot, this isn’t anything new.”
That type of character makes Hollins a vital part of the team. It makes him someone who can serve as a spark plug for his teammates, according to Switzer.
“He does a good job of bringing energy to the table.”null