Speedy Cornerback One To Watch

Tampa Catholic cornerback Tyree Holder talks about his development as a player and his recruiting.

Tampa, Fla.--Finding a cornerback big enough to play today's larger receivers while also athletic enough to hang with speed guys is one of the biggest challenges for college coaches each year. One of the players that could fill that role this season is Tyree Holder from Tampa Catholic.

A 6-0, 160-pounder with 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash, Holder was a reserve as a sophomore before moving into the starting lineup in 2010 as a junior. Recording four interceptions and 40 tackles as a junior, he said that he grew a lot as a player last season thanks to some help from his friends.

"I feel like I got more aggressive," Holder said. "A bunch of my peers, one of them now plays at Syracuse (Jeremi Wilkes), I just always watched him because he was older. He showed me how it was done. Just kind of took me in when I came from junior varsity."

Still waiting for his first offer, Holder said at the moment he's hearing from several schools including the hometown South Florida Bulls and another Big East school.

"I have a friend at UCONN (Connecticut) and he said the coaches up there like me and are going to call me," Holder said. "Western Kentucky and South Florida have sent me letters. Northwestern sent me a letter saying they want to get to know me and my family. I sent my highlight tape off and I've heard from Kansas State already from that."

Also hearing from Maryland, North Texas, Buffalo and Ball State, Holder said growing up in Florida there are several teams he likes and has enjoyed watching over the years including a past national champion and the current national champion.

"Growing up I was always a Miami fan," Holder said. "I would love to have an opportunity to go to Miami. I like West Virginia, USF, really I would go pretty much anywhere with the right opportunity.

"I really like Auburn a lot," Holder added. "If Auburn offered me I could see myself going there. I know Jeris McIntyre went to Auburn and we're good buddies. I could see myself going there."

With a season of starting under his belt Holder said he wants to get bigger and stronger heading into his senior year, which in turn should help his game. He said one of the biggest things he wants to improve on though is just becoming a smarter player.

"There are always so many things to learn," Holder said. "I heard a good quote from the USF basketball coach. He said ‘Learn to listen and listen to learn'. I just always try to put that into everything I do because you can always learn to do something better.'

Currently participating in track this spring, Holder recently recorded a long jump of 21'2", good enough for the third-best jump in Hillsborough County this year.

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