Holding a verbal scholarship offer after an unofficial visit to campus, Holley said Rutgers is one of the schools standing out because of its emphasis on education in the recruiting process.
"It was good because they were talking mostly about academics and my future," said Holley, who also holds offers from Florida State, Penn State and Miami. "I was glad because most schools talk to me mainly about just football. They talked to me about academics as well as football. They're definitely stressing the importance of academics and that's something I look for."
The 6-foot-4, 290-pound defensive tackle is a long way from a decision and expects offers to continue to rise. But regardless of a decision time frame, academics are at the forefront, he said.
"It's very important because I'm thinking about the rest of my life," Holley said. "I'm thinking about criminal justice and sports marketing. A lot of schools have those courses. It's very important because if I don't play football after college, I want a strong education to help me get a job."
Holley spent the afternoon at Rutgers where he received a tour of the facilities and 1-on-1 time with multiple staff members. The day ended with a sit-down with head coach Kyle Flood but he also met with defensive coordinator Dave Cohen and academic advisor Scott Walker.
"It was a very busy day for them, but they took the time to talk to me a lot," Holley said. "I talked with a bunch of different coaches and overall, it was a good experience."
Holley plans to take more visits this spring as his recruitment continues to heat up, but does not have anything set in stone.