Scouting Jeramie Holifield

Tall, fast defensive ends that play with a mean streak are worth their weight in recruiting gold, which explains Bama's interest in Jeramie Holifield.

Recently when Hoover High School took a trip to Tuscaloosa to play County High, we got a chance to scout Holifield in person.

Jeramie Holifield is listed at 6-5, and he's close to that, which for a high-school senior is impressive. Needless to say he was easy to spot during warm-ups. Just look for the kid that's head and shoulders above most of his teammates. With the potential to add an inch or two before he's finished growing, Holifield clearly has prototype size for defensive end.

Holifield listens to his coach on the sideline during the game.

At this point in his development his width hasn't caught up with his length, but Holifield clearly has the frame to carry 260+ pounds. He's listed at 250 now, which is probably a generous number.

Like every high school recruit, he'll benefit from work in a college weight room. Right now Holifield looks lanky, but certainly no more than most prep athletes his height.

At times, especially on running downs, Hoover's coaches sent in a fire-hydrant-sized athlete to play end in place of Holifield (Josh Smyth, 5-11, 230, also plays fullback for the Bucs).

Playing against significantly shorter athletes, gaining and maintaining leverage can be a problem for Holifield. But college coaching (and working against college-sized players) should easily solve that problem.

Most high school athletes that are significantly bigger than their opposition tend to play soft, relying on their size alone to gain the advantage. But one of Holifield's best attributes is his willingness to hit. He pursues the ball well and arrives with an attitude.

Holifield's obvious strength is rushing the passer. He runs well, and possesses one skill that many college defensive ends have yet to master: the ability (and willingness) to get his arms up and disrupt the quarterback's passing lanes.

For an athlete his size, Holifield has a very good first step. He's quick off the ball, often getting by the would-be blocker with his agility.

Some recruiting pundits have compared Holifield to current Tide defensive end Antwan Odom, when he played on the high school level. That's almost certainly unfair to both players. Odom after all was a Parade All-America in high school and is currently All-SEC with a probable future in the NFL. But Holifield's combination of height and agility lends some weight to the comparison.

A tall, lanky athlete now, Holifield (#87) has the prototype frame for defensive end.

RECRUITING NOTES: Without question the Tide coaches like Holifield's potential and would love to sign him. Inking the Hoover trio of Holifield, Curtis Dawson (MLB, DT) and John Parker Wilson (QB) would go along way toward building the stellar recruiting class the Tide so desperately needs. And Bama's coaches would also love to think that Josh Smyth might consider walking on.

Of that group, Dawson and Wilson are certainly the most polished at this point, but Holifield could have the best long-term potential.

Holifield is considering several schools, including Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Tennessee, Florida and Oregon. At this point the Tide almost certainly leads.

He still has work to do to get qualified, but Holifield would likely be signed by Alabama regardless of his academic status.

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