Holt to Decide Sooner Rather than Later

Bingham High School tight end Austin Holt now has six Division I offers in hand and is looking to commit early so he has no distractions during his final season of high school football. TotalBlueSports.com talked with the ESPN top 25 recruit and Army All-American Bowl Combine First Team honoree.

One of the top tight ends in the country has traded the pigskin for the round ball. Two months removed from a championship football season, Austin Holt is looking to lead his high school basketball team to a state title of its own.

"Things are going good," Holt said. "I'm just playing basketball right now. We have about a month left before the state tournament, so it's winding down. I play forward and center but we actually got some tall kids on our team. We have a 6-8 and a 6-7 kid playing for us and their both seniors too. One is Taylor Hollerman and one is Brad Mayers. Right now we're ranked number two and we'll see how things go once the state tournament comes around. I think we're the only undefeated team in our region right now so we're doing really good."

Holt joins fellow football teammate and BYU commit Jordan Pendleton as defending champions in both football and basketball. Both Pendleton and Holt have a chance to become two-time state champions in basketball, and with another year of high school football still to play, Holt has a chance to repeat in football.

"That would be great," Holt said of the prospect of graduating high school with four state championships.

At Bingham High School, BYU in mining the Miner's program for their top caliber recruits. First team all-state nominee Pendleton was the first to commit to the Cougar program for the 2007 signing class soon followed by fellow Miner Star Lotulelei.

Along with an early offer to Holt, the Cougar coaching staff is looking at two other Miner football players in offensive linemen Derek Tuimauga, who has an offer from Oregon, and kicker extraordinaire Justin Sorensen. If scholarship offers are extended to both Tuimauga and Sorensen and both commit, BYU could end up being a satellite campus for Bingham all-stars.

"I've kind of thought about that too," chuckled Holt. "I think that would be kind of neat. You know our coach always talks about how high school ball is always one of those things that you'll always remember, and when you leave to go play college football you're never around your buddies again. You'll never hang out with the same kids you hung out with during high school. You won't be hanging out with kids from the same area. I think it would be kind of neat if they all go there. I don't know if they will all go to BYU. They may all go on their own separate paths, but it would be neat to go there and be with all of your high school buddies and be able to continue the relationships you had while in high school with your buddies."

Tomorrow thousands of kids all across the country will be signing their letters of intent and faxing them across the wires to their future university. Following tomorrow's events, Holt expects the recruiting scene get hotter than it already is.

"It's going to start building up after Wednesday," Holt said. "It's going to start getting even crazier than it's already been. My dad has been with me, and he basically said for me to hold on for the ride. I know that after Wednesday I'm going to start getting pounded with everything. It's going to kind of go crazy for awhile."

Last week Holt took a voluntary trip up to the Northwest to visit University of Washington where he met with Husky head coach Tyrone Willingham.

"I went up to Washington this past week and I was offered by Coach Willingham," said Holt. "About a week before that I got an offer from Wisconsin. I've got offers from BYU, Utah, Stanford, Oregon and now Washington.

"Washington was pretty cool. My dad actually does business up in Seattle, so I've been going up there once or twice a year since I was a little kid. I've actually never been to the university so that was pretty cool. The stadium is pretty cool with how it's set up—how it comes off of the lake. It's pretty cool. I really liked Coach Willingham, and he was neat to talk to.

Coach Willingham told Holt that he is okay with the tight end's desire to serve a mission.

"When he coached at Stanford he actually had to deal with some of that stuff, and said that was totally respectable," said Holt. "He said he actually loves it and thinks that when you're going out independently for two years alone to teach yourself how to do things and that's one of the best things you can do with your life. That's what he told me so I was really happy about that."

Holt also made a trip out to Oregon when the Ducks played and defeated the Bruins of UCLA.

"I actually liked it," Holt said. "We went up there when they played and beat UCLA. It was kind of neat how the city kind of shut down for the game but they had buses going everywhere. It was kind of cool. I don't know, maybe it was just me but I really liked everything up there. It's a college town and the campus is all the way around the city and it was kind of cool and it was really nice weather up there too."

Holt has not been up to visit Stanford in Palo Alto, California yet, but he may go up there soon.

"I think me and my dad are going to go see a spring football game in April or May or sometime around there," said Holt. "We might head up there, and they've talked to us. I've never been up to Palo Alto so I kind of want to see what it's like up there."

So how does Holt feel about his recent offers and the added attention he is receiving from college recruiters?

"I don't know," said Holt. "You know it's kind of…I don't know. I've looked at every school and I've talked to all the coaches and the text messaging is now getting bigger and bigger. Sometimes I just want to turn my phone off during school."

Although wishing the constant heat from college recruiters would be turned down a bit, Holt has not ranked his top three schools. That will come a bit later.

"I didn't really want to do anything before signing day was over," said Holt "Like I said, after signing day, it's going to get a little crazy so I didn't want to narrow it down too fast. I just want to take my time, and I don't want to force anything and make sure it's right for me."

To help gain better overall perspective of which school is best for him, Holt will make a chart that will list the pros and cons of each school.

"Like my dad says, we're going to make a big chart and put all the schools down," said Holt. "You know, I'm going to put all the school's down and look at what is good about their education, what's good about their sports, what's good about their location and what's good about everything else on a big plus and minus chart. We'll talk about everything."

When Holt finally narrows his list down to the school that is the best fit for him, he will pull the trigger. He expects to get to that point this summer.

"I've actually talked with my dad and talked with Coach Peck and you know I think it really helped having Star and Jordan committing early to BYU. It happened to be BYU, and it kind of helped our season.

"It kind of got it out of our way for our season, and our season turned out really good, 14-0, and we went on to win our state championship. So I just kind of sat down with them. We go to our high school camp, which starts July 9th. We go down to Ephraim. I think it's all coming down to about then that I'll be committing—around July 9th when we go to camp."

While up visiting Washington last week, Holt was able to meet with Scout.com's very own Chris Fetters. So what does the local Utah star think of the Northwest Recruiting Analyst Chris Fetters?

"He's a really nice guy," said Holt. "When I went to the Army combine when I was a sophomore he was kind of the guy I sat down with before I actually did any of my testing. I talked with him and he set me all up and after the combine he talked with me and got all of my information for the Scout combine. My dad has kind of kept good relations with him."

By seeing how committing early helped teammates Pendleton and Lotulelei, Holt feels he will be helped by eliminating the current recruiting distractions during his senior season.

"You know I've thought about it and that seems best for me and that seems good for my coaches," Holt said. "This is my senior season and I kind of want it to be special. You know you kind of want your senior season to be special and that's kind of how I want to go out. I learned from these seniors that went out. I don't want anything to affect my senior year. It will probably happen around the first week of July."

Holt is currently sitting down and sorting out a schedule for summer camps and is not quite sure which camps he will attend over the summer.

"I'll start getting letters about going to people's Junior Day in the next couple of weeks," said Holt. "I'll sit down with my dad and figure out the best places to go do these things."

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