Top National Recruit Likes BYU

Austin Holt could only say "Wow!" when he saw his name in Sporting News Magazine. The magazine named him one of the top 25 high school football players in the 2008 recruiting class. Total Blue Sports spoke with the Bingham High School superstar to get his reaction to the honor.

Few high school sophomores will find themselves mentioned in a national magazine, but then, most sophomores are not as talented on the football field as Austin Holt.

"It's funny because my dad brought home the magazine for me to read," Holt said. "So before I was going to bed I was flipping through it and saw my name on the list and all I could do was just smile. My only reaction was to say, ‘Wow!"

Holt could be BYU's number one recruiting priority in next year year. At 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, he is already a dominating tight end. He has a great frame, nice moves and excellent hands.

"This summer I went to the University of Utah for the 7-on-7," Holt said. "My dad and I also went to Oregon and Oregon State and I went to the Nike camp in Eugene. I did really well there and when I came back from Oregon, I got a paper saying that I was named to the Nike Camp's All-Underclassman All-American team. So that was cool.

"Oregon's facilities are really nice. I felt like I was at a hotel. Nike spoils them. And Oregon St was real nice too."

Holt then went to BYU's junior day, 7-on-7 camp, and BYU's full-padded camp.

"I had a lot of fun at BYU," Holt said. "I was named the camp's best tight end. I also got to meet with Coach [Bronco] Mendenhall a few times this summer, and that was great. He took me and my parents up to his office to talk. I really like how he is so straight forward. He said that I shouldn't feel rushed to make a college decision. He said I should just concentrate on going out and having the best junior season I can have. I liked that a lot."

Holt said that one thing that really impressed him about BYU is how all the coaches knew his name.

"When BYU was recruiting Jordan, I went down with him to Provo to meet with the coaches, and Coach Doman came right up to me and knew who I was," said Holt. "That was really cool."

Holt, who will be a junior this year at Bingham High School, is close friends and teammates with BYU verbal commitment Jordan Pendleton.

"Jordan and I are really close friends," Holt said. "We talk a lot and even help each other with our homework. BYU is getting a really good player in Jordan. He can do everything on the field."

Holt has two official scholarship offers, one from BYU and the other from Utah. Oregon is also expressing a lot of interest.

"My dad and I got to talk to Coach Crowton while we were out there," he said. "He is a nice guy. It was funny because he would say nice things about BYU and why it would be a good place to go, but then would say things that conflicted that, so it was confusing."

Holt said that he is a BYU fan, and really started getting excited about playing football in 2001 when BYU had such a good year.

"Luke Staley and Brandon Doman were exciting to watch and that got me really interested in football," said Holt.

Holt said that he has a 3.9 GPA and has already qualified with a score of 20 on the ACT.

"My dad has always stressed academics with me," said Holt. "That's why I have been so impressed with BYU. Coach Mendenhall said that the team's cumulative GPA last year was 3.01. He said to ask any other college coaches in the country if their teams have a 3.01. They don't."

Holt, who wants to major in business or accounting, is still wide open and will not make a decision any time soon.

"I want to get my junior year out of the way," he said. "After that, then I can sit down and figure things out."

Holt said his grandfather is split between two schools because he went to BYU for undergraduate work then on to Utah for his master's degree.

"I just found out recently that my dad and I and some people in my ward are going to go to Arizona for BYU's first game," said Holt. "I'm looking forward to going to that game."

Last year Holt played only tight end, but this year he plans to play defensive end as well. In college, he would like to play tight end. He said that the way a team uses their tight ends would factor into his decision.

Holt, who will turn 17, in September said he has definite mission plans.

When asked to describe his game, Holt said that he moves well, has good cuts and breaks, and catches the ball well.

"I think a lot of defensive backs are surprised when they see me coming at them and making my cuts and breaks so fast," Holt said. "The best time I've had in the forty is a 4.75."

Holt's high school coach wants to see him reach 230 pounds by his senior year, which is only 10 more pounds.

TBS will check up with Austin in the fall to see how his junior year is progressing.

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