Between now and national signing day on Feb. 5, The Oregonian is profiling high school football players who are expected to sign with the Oregon Ducks.

Name: Justin Hollins

Hometown: Arlington, Texas

Position: Defensive end

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 205 pounds

High school: Martin High School


Duck fans should be excited because: Every week last fall, opponents of Martin High School knew the defensive scouting report by heart: Keep an eye on Miles Garrett.

Garrett is rated among the nation’s top-10 players regardless of position, and earned that ranking by terrorizing offenses at defensive end for Martin. But as teams quickly figured out, Martin had a new guy worth keeping an eye – and maybe an extra blocker – on, as well, in Justin Hollins.

“He’s the fastest guy on our team,” Wager said.

He’s also a 6-foot-5, 207-pound defensive end.

Hollins had arrived at Martin -- the alma mater of Oregon redshirt freshmen defenders Stephen and Eric Amoako -- for his senior season after three years at a smaller private school, Grace Prep, where he ran 10.8 in the 100 meters last spring. The jump to 5A football in Texas is large, but matched the end’s considerable skill set, Martin coach Bob Wager said, that is derived from a long-armed frame that is compared to Dion Jordan. He has a three-star rating from Rivals.

“Number one, he has great athleticism combined with a frame where he has lots of room to grow,” Wager said. “Number two is his motor. I mean he plays hard, and he practices hard. I think you're going to find a guy who's very coachable. … He played on every special teams unit we had. It wasn’t uncommon for us to see Justin chasing people down on kickoff returns.”

Hollins’ move was spurred by a chance to play against better competition, and before he ever lined up against an opponent he found it in Garrett. In the 6-5, 245-pound Garrett, who has a verbal commitment to Texas A&M, Hollins had someone to push him, in what he called a “friendly rivalry,” though he did a fair job of that himself, too. After breaking his right hand during the season, Hollins didn’t miss any time, he said. Wager said it limited which sides Hollins could rush off of from defensive end, but that he continued to play special teams, blocking a kick and catching a fake field goal for a touchdown.

“I couldn’t just not play because I broke my hand,” he said. “That’s why they give you a hard cast.”