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Players to watch: Thomas Holley, Lincoln

by Dylan Butler on
Sun, Aug 11, 2013 12:53 PM

Players to watch: Thomas Holley, Lincoln

Some play football their whole life and never get a major Division I offer.

Thomas Holley has a bevy of BCS-level scholarship offers and he’s only played organized football for about one year.

The rising senior at Lincoln has 25 offers, including from Alabama, Clemson, Mississippi, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, USC, Notre Dame, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Ohio State, Penn State, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Rutgers.

What makes Holley, a five-star recruit listed as the top-ranked recruit in New York State and the fourth-ranked defensive tackle in the country in the Class of 2014, so valuable?

“Not many guys who are 6-4, 300 [pounds] can run like he runs,” Lincoln coach Shawn O’Connor said. “He runs like a deer. He just takes off. He hasn’t even come close to reaching his potential.”

Holley, who has been selected to play in the Under Armour All-American Game, is a transfer from Christ the King where he was a quality basketball player.

Like Jordan Fuchs, who picked up football late and earned a scholarship to the University of Connecticut, Holley originally decided to play football to remain in shape for basketball.

But because of the combination of his size, speed and raw skillset, college football coaches were in awe of Holley when they saw him on tape and in camps and combines.

Holley, who joined Erasmus Hall standout Curtis Samuel at the Opening, a prestigious Nike combine in July, visited Syracuse last week and reportedly was impressed with what the Orange has to offer.

Holley reportedly is planning to attend the season opener between Syracuse and Penn State at Met Life Stadium on Aug. 31.


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