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University Virginia Football Shooting 2022, Mike Hollins leads the Cavaliers out of the tunnel against Tennessee


Virginia's Mike Hollins, a survivor of the tragic shooting incident that claimed three of his teammates' lives, courageously led the Cavaliers out of the tunnel for their first game post the incident against Tennessee.

As a poignant reminder of the horrific event last November, Hollins, a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was one of only two survivors. The shooting took the lives of his teammates Devin Chandler, D'Sean Perry, and Lavel Davis Jr. 

Following the incident, Hollins was hospitalized for a week and underwent several surgeries due to a gunshot wound in his back. His long road to recovery commenced thereafter.
Aside from the loss of three players, the shooting also resulted in injuries to student Marlee Morgan, leading the Cavaliers to cancel their final two games of the season. 

Saturday's game against the Vols marked the team's first return to the field post the tragedy.
Despite the emotional weight, Hollins' triumphant return to the regular season was marked by his leading the team onto the field. 

In a show of solidarity, Tennessee also joined Virginia in a pre-kickoff moment of silence, with the Vols donning a helmet decal in honor of the fallen players.

Virginia coach Tony Elliott emphasized the team's resilience, stating, 'Every day that we continue to wake up and come to work, put our best foot forward, that's the triumph in all of this.' 

Hollins' successful return to practice four months post the incident was a morale booster for his teammates, even though he was not yet cleared for full contact. His perseverance was rewarded midway through the 15 sessions, where he scored a 1-yard touchdown run during the spring game.

Hollins commemorated his touchdown by placing the ball on Perry's name, which was painted in the end zone alongside Davis Jr. and Chandler's names. 

The alleged perpetrator of the shootings is former Virginia player Christopher Jones Jr., who is currently awaiting trial on three counts of second-degree murder and other charges.
In a tribute to the deceased players, the NFL honored Chandler, Davis Jr., and Perry as honorary picks at the 2023 Draft. 

Before the first selection in the NFL Draft, commissioner Roger Goodell ceremoniously drafted Chandler, Davis Jr., and Perry. The three players were on a school bus returning from a class trip when the incident occurred.

Goodell presented jerseys of Ravens, Dolphins, and Jaguars to the families of Davis, Perry, and Chandler respectively, capturing the moment in photographs.


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