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January 18, 2012

Commit gets biggest wish

Texas Tech commit J.J. Lollar is preparing to do some big things in powerlifting during his final semester at College Station (Texas) A&M Consolidated High School.

Wait, you've never heard of Lollar?

Let's back up and then start over. Have you heard of A&M Consolidated defensive tackle J.J. Bynum?

Bynum's last name is about to become Lollar, and that's a much more important story than smashing state records in powerlifting or pushing offensive linemen three yards into the backfield.

Today's story is about a person. And it's about someone who's long awaited wish is about to get granted by the State of Texas.

Lollar envisions himself as a Tech football legend one of these days. But for now, it's just in the video game NCAA Football '12. He's a monster in the game with the last name Lollar on his back.

In the video game NCAA Football, anyone can program themselves onto their favorite team's roster. But first and foremost, the game asks you for a name.

It was instinct for the 6-foot-3, 275-pounder.

He typed J.J. Lollar.

He's also been J.J. Lollar on Facebook and Twitter for quite some time now.

It's in honor of his mom who virtually raised him as a single parent.

"My mom's maiden name is Lollar," Lollar said. "Ever since I was younger, I've always just grown up with my mom and my sister and so I wanted to change my last name when I was little because I had no reason to be Bynum. My mom always told me when I got older I could change it when I was old enough.

"Once I got to high school and was old enough she told me I could change it, but we wanted to wait after all the college and recruiting stuff was over with. Once I committed to Tech we decided I would change it. In December we decided we could change it so we went up to the courts and everything and schedule my thing."

Today is a big day for Lollar.

Head coach Tommy Tuberville, defensive line coach Terry Price and Tommy Mainord are visiting.

But before that, Lollar will call a judge about why he wants to change his last name and they will schedule a court appearance next week.

Then the last name is official.

It will be on his Red Raider jersey.

"I always pictured when I was younger -- In Little League and having the name Bynum on me, I just didn't really like it. And when I see my created player on NCAA (the video game) I see the name Lollar. It just looks better to me. I'm excited to have it on my jersey."

Lollar considers his mother his best friend. It cannot be understated how important it is for him to share the name with his mother and their family and to carry the name into the future as a man.

"It means a lot to me to hold the name Lollar," he said. "My grandfather who sure means a lot to me was a Navy S.E.A.L. To carry the name around means I'm going to have a lot of shoes to fill as I grow up and get older and I feel like it will help me set goals for myself.

"I can't let down my family's name."

The last sporting event Lollar will compete in while legally being known as Bynum should be this weekend's powerlifting meet -- the first of the season.

"After my first meet, I should be first in state by over 100 pounds (in the squat)," Lollar said. "I'll be beating a guy that actually beat me last year in state. In region, I'll be winning by close to 400 pounds which is very exciting."

Lollar then explained power lifting and football have a lot in common.

"Powerlifting, it's all mental. If you think you're going to miss a lift, you're gonna miss the lift. It really helps you learn that you can't think about the play or the guy in front of you. You can't think about where the guy in front of you is going.

"Powerlifting really helps you clear your mind when you step on the field because power lifting you can't think about missing the lift. On the field, if you think the guy is stronger, faster and better than you, you're going to get beat. So really it allows you to be able to clear your mind where you can not only make a lift but also make a play."

Just spending a couple of minutes on the phone with Lollar makes you think that he's never going to let down the family name.


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