Hit stick

C.J. Holton is one of the best safeties in the country. Noledigest caught up with C.J. to discuss how his senior season is going, what other school he will take an official visit to, how his nickname came about, and his thoughts on FSU.

How has practice been going for you?

CH: We have had some good practice lately. Tyrell (their QB) got hurt and is having knee surgery, so we have to step up all around. We are working hard with him out. The defense has to pick it up; the backs have to pick it up. The defense has really picked it up since the injury.

What are your expectations going into this year?

CH: I just want to be a leader on defense, especially the secondary. I am the only senior in the backfield, so I want to practice hard and set the pace. Of course I want my stats to get better. I have been working hard all summer working on my speed and my backpedal. I have gotten a lot stronger so I should be able to shed blocks a lot easier. I was running with parachutes this summer to get faster. I saw it some in the jamboree, but I didn't play that much. With the things I have worked on, I should be able to get more tackles and interceptions. I did notice in 7-on7s this summer that I was able to line up on slot guys and handle them pretty good.

How did the name hit stick come about?

CH: Last season we were playing Rickards, and I had like 5 real hard hits during the game. Nigel and Tyrell took it from the Madden football game and started calling me that, so it stuck.

What about FSU made them right school for you?

CH: It has the best to offer me. It is right down the road, and I will be close to my family. The coaches are great and they treat us like family. They need safeties and I think I can come in and contribute. Really, what is there to not like about FSU.

Are you still being recruited by other schools?

CH: Yeah, I still get mail and all. I am going to take an official soon to Miami, just to make sure. I am going to be in college for 4 years, so I just need to make sure. Florida has a bad reputation, so I don't like them too much. Going to Miami is just something I want to check out. I am still 100% committed to FSU and it's were I want to go.

Is FSU recruiting you as a free safety or rover?

CH: I am a free safety. In goal line I move to corner for my team because I like to play bump and run. I like being able to fly around hitting people. I just want to make plays, hit someone and make things happen.

What are you trying to improve on before you get to college?

CH: I just want to get faster. As soon as the season is over I am going to work more with parachutes and running with the vests. I also just want to hit the weight room and work on my flexibility, especially in my hips. I think I need to get better turning my hips because it will help me cover better. Right now I am 6'2" 205 pounds, so I just want to add some healthy weight and get faster all at the same time.

Are you still recruiting for FSU?

CH: I had to back off of that a bit because of school and all. I don't have the time that I did over the summer. I still am in contact with other commits, but I want to work on my school work. I do have some easy classes, but I just want to keep on the right path. I have taken the ACT, and I got a 16. I think that qualifies me with my GPA, but I am going to continue testing because I want to get a 20.

CJ reports that he is playing in the ESPN All-American game in January.

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