HOUSTON (FOX 26) - From the halls of Lamar High School in Houston to playing professional football with the Minnesota Vikings, Holton Hill put in the hard work, but was kept on track by his mentors and coaches who knew he had something special.
Lamar High has produced several professional football players like Brian Orakpo and Brandon LaFell. The latest is Hill, 21, defensive back for the Vikings.
“You’re happy for them and their families, and you know it’s a lifelong dream for those kids to do that and not many of them get the chance,” says Hill’s former head coach Tom Nolen.
Despite the nickname "Hollywood," Hill was a humble student who valued his education and all the people who took part in molding him into the player, and man, he is today.
"Helped him keep his head on straight, deal with the various workload that he had with classes over the years while maintaining his stellar athletics career," says Tyrone Chambers, one of Hill's mentors.
Those mentors and coaches never let the teen get off track. Hill graduated and went on to play college football for the University of Texas Longhorns in Austin, and now, he is a rookie in the NFL.
"The NFL has been phenomenal and it’s a wonderful thing, but the character and the person that he is today, that we helped to shape him into is more important to me,” Chambers tells FOX 26 News.
Hill is making his family and alma mater proud, proving that it takes a village to raise a child.
"For these young kids to see him, knowing that he went through the process, and he was in the same rooms, weight room, classroom, on the same field that they’re on right now, that he has made it to the ultimate level, is a really big deal for our kids," current Lamar High School head football coach Michael Lindsey tells FOX 26. "And they look up to him, they look up to all of our Lamar guys who are in the NFL and also in college.“
Hill’s former coaches say that whenever he returns to Lamar, he speaks with the students and guides them, the same way he was guided when he was a student there.