RECRUITING: Jamere Holland Names Top Three Schools

One hundred meters disappears in the blink of an eye when Jamere Holland comes out of the blocks. That same speed that is a blur on the track makes Holland of Woodland Hills (CA) Taft one of the nation's most coveted deep threats as a wide receiver. While defending champ Southern Cal is in his back yard, Holland has his eyes set on three schools to the east of California.

(Jamere Holland profile)

Holland (6-1, 180) has covered 100 meters in less than 10.3 seconds. He's so fast that Taft Coach Troy Starr says without hesitation that Holland "is the fastest player in the United States." Nearly every top Division I program has offered Holland a scholarship but he has firmly reduced the number of schools he is interested in down to three.

"I have a favorite's list of Florida, Arizona, and LSU," Holland said. "They just like the way I am faster than everyone else."

Coach Starr loves the way his star wideout torches defensive backs with breakneck speed, but he's the first to tell you that there's a lot more to this kid than just a great set of wheels.

"He is a great player, great up side," Starr said. "He has a tremendous amount of speed. He will be an impact player, wherever he goes. He will be playing corner this year also. He potentially could play both in college."

Defense may be fine for his senior year in high school, but at the next level Holland makes it clear that "I definitely like offense better."

Starr has more than a passing interest in what's going on at the University of Florida. He knows Coach Urban Meyer very well. Meyer successfully recruited Starr's best player last year to Utah, then when Meyer took the Florida job, he re-recruited quarterback Josh Portis to Florida. Portis enrolled in Florida last January after achieving top five status in the rankings. In Florida's spring game, Portis threw for 248 yards in an exciting glimpse of what's possible for the future.

Holland has no doubts that Portis is capable of competing at the highest levels even as a true freshman.

"I will be shocked if he is not starting before the year is over," he said. "I am kind of partial, so…"

While Starr and Portis remain close, Portis and Holland are also great friends. When Portis went back to California to participate in his high school graduation a few weeks ago, he spent much of his free time hanging around with Holland

Obviously, Portis has impacted the way Holland thinks about the University of Florida. "I like Florida," Holland said. "Josh Portis goes there. Josh was my quarterback from last year. We are good friends and we had kind of a bond on and off the field. He tells me it is a great school, he has a lot of fun there, and he might play this year."

The connections to Florida are not just limited to Portis. Starr has known Meyer since the two grew up in the Cleveland, Ohio area. At previous stops on his college coaching career, Meyer has signed some of Starr's players.

"We are both from around Cleveland," said Starr. "We have the same college friends and I have known him for a long time."

The connections are plenty, but Florida's staff still has their work cut out for them if they intend to land Holland in the recruiting class of 2006. Holland is considered such a gem for the class that Meyer is personally recruiting the nation's fastest wideout.

"They send me letters like twice a week and show me a lot of attention," he said. "Coach Meyer is the coach recruiting me. He is a great coach. He is real funny with me when I talk on the phone. He kids around that Josh is faster than me."

The connections to Florida withstanding, he continues to consider Arizona and LSU.

"Arizona is showing me a lot of love and sending me a lot of letters," Holland said. "Coach (Charlie) Williams, he and I have talked on the phone numerous times. LSU … I like a lot of the same things with them."

It is a slow summer in California. Holland spends a lot of time with Coach Starr and they watch a lot of game film together. Holland is using the time to also think about his college decisions. He will visit all three schools but he has no timetable for a final decision.

"Yes, I will definitely take trips to those three schools," he said. "I will probably make my decision at the last second, all the way up till signing day."

Jamere Holland has the kind of speed and talent to be a headliner in anyone's recruiting class. While three schools remain on his agenda, Florida fans can take heart that longstanding connections to this outstanding player will keep the Gators in the hunt until a final choice is made.

Fightin Gators Top Stories