Now, Strong can add Miami Southridge four-star safety Gerod Holliman to his program's list of 2011 commitments. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Holliman announced his decision on national television during Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.
Louisville's persistence paid off with Holliman. Holliman verbally committed to Ole Miss last summer, but the Cardinals never relented from his recruitment. Louisville assistant Clint Hurtt kept the Cardinals in the running all season, brought Holliman on campus for an official visit, and UofL quickly emerged as the favorite to land his commitment when he backed out of his commitment to the Rebels last month.
Holliman, the No. 12-rated safety prospect nationally by Scout.com, becomes the defensive headliner of Louisville's highly-regarded 2011 recruiting class. A U.S. Army All-American, Holliman chose UofL over Ole Miss, West Virginia, LSU and Miami.
"With ideal size to play either free or strong [safety], Holliman also has good instincts and he's around the ball a lot," said Scout.com Florida analyst Mike Bakas. "He's shown good hands and ball skills. He's very competitive, too. He's still a little raw in some of his coverage techniques but he has all the tools."
Holliman led talent-rich Dade County with 12 interceptions as a senior. He recorded 80 tackles, six sacks and four interceptions as a junior.
With Miami mired in a coaching change from Randy Shannon to Al Golden, Strong has taken advantage of the instability in south Florida. Though Holliman is the latest Miami prospect to pick Louisville, he likely won't be the last. The Cardinals are among the favorites to land Holliman's teammate Andrew Johnson, and Booker T. Washington defensive lineman Elkino Watson.