A year ago Jeff Holland showed up to Friday Night Lights and was already being widely recruited and decided he didn’t need to compete. Friday night it started the same, but something got Holland going and he all of a sudden needed to get out on the field. After working the linebacker drills he spent a good bit of time as a pass receiver as he has done on his 7on7 Pro Impact summer team.
“I like to compete, I just started it up,” Holland told the media present after the camp. “Florida is telling me I can play both sides of the ball. I would probably be a receiver / tight end. I just like to get open and get space. I like to get the ball in my hands and be a play maker.
“Coach T-Rob wanted to see me at receiver and work me of his DB’s and see what I could do. I can play any side, outside linebacker, receiver, or anything.”
After one touchdown, Holland took a dramatic pause to get everyone’s attention and he performed a front flip, drawing applause from everyone watching. It is something he has done for years.
“I was just having fun out here,” he said of the camp. “My boys told me to do that, so I popped it off for them. I was in gymnastics when I was little, so I have been doing it for a long time. Jamie Harper used to do it all the time.
“I just like to flip. I can flip off of anything, I just like to flip.”
The offensive play is a bonus, but most schools are looking at Holland as a defensive specialist, a linebacker with the size and quickness to be a pass rusher as well. Florida defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin sees Holland in that role. Holland says that Florida defense is also a big deal because of head coach Will Muschamp.
“I like that he is a defensive coach,” Holland said. “He calls defensive plays and going to put you in a spot to make plays. I really like the BUCK position, I could come in and play that after he leaves.”
Holland also knows that the Gators have made him a huge priority as far back as mid-way through the last recruiting cycle.
“Florida didn’t recruit an outside linebacker in the 2014 class,” Holland said. “It was a promise from Coach Durkin. He stayed with it and didn’t do it.”
“(Coach Durkin) is recruiting me pretty hard and Nick Washington and Kavaris Harkless are recruiting me hard up here,” Holland said. “I have been up here for almost a whole week kicking it with them.”
He’s visited Florida at least a dozen times in the last couple of years and in that time he has learned a lot about Muschamp.
“They don’t have to tell me I see it,” Holland said. “I know Coach Muschamp takes care of his players and they stay taken care of. My family just wants me to be well taken care of.”
“Auburn, Florida, and UCLA are neck in neck,” he said. “I like all of those schools. I was told you have to go make plays wherever you go.”
Holland said he will visit Auburn and UCLA officially in the fall and that he plans to enroll in college in January, so he will make his college decision in early December.
And Florida, Auburn, and UCLA fans will be on their heels until he announces his choice.