Nobody seems to remember exactly why the nickname was coined. But ever since Hunter Brackin showed up at Pee Wee football practice with long blonde hair and an Alabama jersey back in fourth grade, he’s been known as “Hollywood.”
“Most people don’t even know my real name,” the Carroll Academy standout chuckled.
Hollywood has always been undersized, but it’s never held him back on the gridiron. During those Pee Wee football days, the tiny tailback realized there were ways to use his fun-sized frame to his advantage. Hollywood became the star of a trick play where he would crouch behind Cooper Beck and the rest of his large linemen, take the snap hiding and eventually erupt for a delayed run on a confused defense.
Nearly a decade later, not much has changed for Hollywood. Now in his third season as Rebels' starting running back, the senior has followed Beck & Co. en route to 2,096 career rushing yards and 29 rushing touchdowns, including three scores during last week's 42-16 rout of Glenbrook in the MAIS Class 3A quarterfinals.
“(Hollywood) gets behind those linemen and you just cannot see him,” head coach Bo Milton said.
At 5-foot-6, “maybe 140 pounds with his pads on,” Milton calls Hollywood pound-for-pound the toughest kid he has ever coached.
“He’s not afraid of contact at all,” Milton said. “He would rather run straight ahead. He doesn’t like for us to toss it, he’d rather go straight ahead.”
Milton knew Hollywood was special back in 2018, when the 115-pound sophomore proved he could hang with the bigger varsity boys by delivering vicious hits as a linebacker and special teams stud before ultimately winning the starting running back job.
“He shot through the line and hit a lead blocker for Newton right in the chest and the kid just buckled, went straight down like he was shot,” Milton recalled.
“Then against Winona that year he’s on kickoff team, goes down the field, hits a kid and knocks him out of the ballgame,” the sixth-year coach added. “We get the ball back and score, and all of a sudden he knocks the next kid out who replaced him.”
“I mean, he’s like a bullet.”
Hollywood’s next shot comes Friday night as Carroll tries to avenge last year’s semifinal loss to St. Joe.
• Contact Riley Overend at 581-7237 or email@example.com. Follow @OverendOut on Twitter.