When tight end Jacob Hollister gave his agent a list of things he wanted from his next team, he didn't realize it would lead him back to his college quarterback from Wyoming.
"Talking to my agent, it just seemed like the best situation when it came to the culture and really just the type of building that you want to be in," Hollister said of his new team.
The tight end played with Josh Allen at University of Wyoming from 2015 to 2016. The two have kept in touch since their college days and Hollister made sure to reach out before making it official with the Bills.
"I talked to Josh the day before I committed to signing here," Hollister said. "He had nothing but amazing things to say."
Hollister had an idea that was the case with the Bills and saw that when he played against them during his time with the Patriots.
"The culture is amazing," Hollister shared. "Even when I was with the Patriots we would talk about when you saw teams celebrating together then you know you're going to have to deal with them all four quarters because it's a team that's together, and they're a unit."
In 2016, Allen played in 14 games and completed 209 passes for 3,203 yards and threw for 28 touchdowns for Wyoming. During that season, Hollister caught 32 passes for 515 receiving yards and scored seven touchdowns. Hollister would like to reignite the chemistry they shared in 2016.
"Josh is just a baller, so I love playing with him," Hollister explained. "Honestly that was a huge deciding factor for me coming here was getting to play with him again. He's that type of guy that you feel confident to huddle with."
Hollister shared that he hosted Allen on his initial visit to Wyoming. One of his first impressions of the young QB was the belief he had in himself.
"He has a ton of confidence, has a ton of confidence in his teammates, coaches and everybody," Hollister said. "I think that's the first thing that I realized with Josh was this is a really confident dude and that gives the rest of the team confidence around him for sure."
Being in the NFL for four seasons and playing with different quarterbacks, Hollister missed one thing about playing alongside Allen the most.
"I miss his competitiveness," Hollister said. "That's definitely the first thing that comes to mind. Whenever I've been around Josh, it doesn't matter what it is--golf, hanging around in the locker room, playing ping pong or something like that. He's just a very competitive dude. That's something that I love about him, whether it's in practice or games. I'm definitely excited to see that again."
During his time with the Patriots and Seahawks, Hollister has racked up 74 catches for 652 receiving yards and has scored six touchdowns. In 2020, Hollister played in all 16 games for the Seahawks and recorded 25 catches for 209 yards and scored three touchdowns.
The tight end has played in 50 games and started in 10. He thinks he can offer an offense more than one strength.
"I think that my versatility is something that I bring to the team that I'm really excited about," Hollister shared. "I like an offensive coordinator to have a really good feeling about moving me anywhere and being comfortable with it, whether that's in the run game or pass game. I want them to feel comfortable with me being outside wide as a receiver, in the slot, in the backfield, whatever it is."
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From playing with one MVP contender to another, Hollister is taking what he learned from Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to Buffalo.
"I'd have a page that's listed with things that I learned from Russ," Hollister explained. "One of those things is that there's a difference between cockiness and confidence. Russ just has a really clean good confidence to him where he knows his ability, he knows what he brings to the table and who he is as a player.
"I feel like that's something I've learned to learn from Russ is speaking things into existence and having that confidence in yourself."
The former undrafted rookie free agent is taking that new confidence to the Bills as he reunites with the QB who helped him score seven touchdowns in one season.