USC's Holloman visits Lady's Island a day after Dallas Cowboys call

mmccombs@beaufortgazette.comApril 29, 2013 

DeVonte Holloman had been stressing all day Saturday. Finally, he just had to get away from the TV.

Soon afterward, the call the University of South Carolina linebacker had been waiting for finally came. It was the Dallas Cowboys calling to tell Holloman they had selected him in the sixth-round with the 185th overall pick in the NFL draft.

"It was very special," said Holloman, who had been anxiously watching the draft with his father in Rock Hill. "It was a big relief."

Holloman spent Saturday night celebrating in Charlotte with family and friends. Sunday, he was on Lady's Island visiting and celebrating with the family of his fiancee, Angela Whalen, a former Battery Creek volleyball player he met in Columbia.

Holloman said the Cowboys brought out the big guns right from the start. Jerry Jones personally made the call to him, and he was joined on the phone by head coach Jason Garrett and defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, among others.

"They had the whole gang," said Holloman, who told the Cowboys brain-trust he "would make them proud."

Holloman said the Cowboys told him they have a need for a linebacker, and he would play on every special team he could, as well.

The South Pointe High graduate started his career with the Gamecocks as a safety but played last season at linebacker. Last season, Holloman made 57 tackles, had two sacks and made three interceptions. He totaled seven interceptions for his career, which included 22 starts at safety and 13 at linebacker among 57 games played.

While the waiting was stressful, Holloman said it was erased by the best part of the draft experience -- "Just hearing I was going to have the opportunity to live out my dreams."

Holloman is not sure when he'll get to Dallas. Minicamp starts May 10, but he has to work around his graduation. He said he may have to go, return home and then go again before camp.

But Holloman has already cleared one major hurdle. His father is a long-time Redskins fan.

"I made him lose his Redskins hat," he said. "I think he was OK with that."

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