Philadelphia Eagles rookie wide receiver Mack Hollins called himself just a “Padawan” when it comes to his touchdown dance, so he was hesitant to put himself too high on the list of top Eagles celebrations this year.
“I mean the home run one, any time we hit a deep ball we’ll do the home run one,” said Hollins, beginning his rankings. “I saw an edit of Nelson [Agholor] when he fell back and they turned [the end zone] into a ball pit; that was pretty cool.”
“I could put myself up there, but I could be better. You can always grow,” he joked.
The Yoda of “The Backpack” — the dance Hollins broke out following a 64-yard touchdown pass from Carson Wentz on Monday Night Football against the Washington Redskins — is 15-year-old Russell Horning from Georgia, an internet sensation who gained attention when he stole the show during an appearance on “Saturday Night Live” with Katy Perry. Hollins and Horning connected after Hollins did his rendition of the dance.
“He’s way more famous than me or viral than me,” Hollins said. “Hopefully we can get him to a game. We’ve talked and we’ve exchanged words. Maybe we can get him to a game and we can make a video together.”
Eagles rookie Mack Hollins broke out “The Backpack” after scoring his first NFL touchdown on Monday night. James Lang/USA TODAY Sports
Hollins is starting to get his own following. The long touchdown and ensuing celebration in front of a national audience didn’t hurt. Nor did the fact that he was spotted riding his bike to Lincoln Financial Field on the day of the game, pedaling past fans largely unnoticed.
“No,” he responded when asked if he gets recognized, “but I’m sure they will now.”
Hollins said he doesn’t have a car yet — “just gotta find the right deal, I guess” — and lives pretty close to the sports complex, so he opts for the 15-minute bike ride over taking an Uber. He rode a motorcycle when he attended North Carolina, “but they’re not too fond of motorcycles in the NFL. So that’s sitting at home,” he said.
His work performance isn’t hurting any. Hollins hasn’t been used a lot, but has fully maximized his opportunities to this point. Wentz has targeted him six times, and he has converted each into a catch for a total of 134 yards (22.3-yard average), with three first downs and a TD.
“Every time he is in there, it seems like he just makes plays,” said Wentz of Hollins, a fourth-round pick. “He finds a way to get open and he is effective. And I don’t think a lot of teams really respect that or know that about him. So he is just a big weapon for us when we need a guy.”
Having caught the attention of his teammates and coaches, it’s likely Hollins will have a bigger role moving forward, which should mean more chances to up his TD celebration game.
“It’s only been a couple days,” said Hollins, when asked if he knows what he’ll do next. “I’ve got to wash the mind and get some new material.”