Holliman finally making plays for Cardinals

A former U.S. Army All-American redshirt freshman Gerod Holliman is finally making plays for the University of Louisville defense. Cardimal Authority spoke with Holliman during the open week.

As a senior at Miami (Fla.) Southridge safety Gerod Holliman was considered one of the best at his positions. His 12 interceptions, 5 of which were returned for a touchdown, led all of Dade County. A U.S. Army All-American selection, Holliman chose Louisville over offers from Cincinnati, Miami, Nebraska, Tennessee, West Virginia and many others.

After coming short of securing the needed academic standing, Holliman headed to Milford Academy for a year, but remained firm on his commitment to Louisville. A shoulder injury limited his action on the field as a freshman, appearing in just three games as a true freshman.

During his first season at U of L, Holliman studied the defense and worked closely with safties Hakeem Smith and Calvin Pryor on improving his overall play. Known as a player that was quick to respond in the passing game, the 6-foot, 200-pound safety needed to improve his understanding of the running game and proper technique.

"It was tough, but I know it was in my best interest because I wasn't a full 100% ready for the season," he said of his first year at U of L. "I learned how to run to the ball. I had a bad habit of not getting to the ball at first coming out high school. I learned how to disguise coverages more and being in tune with what is going on around me."

"I learned the defense and all the in's and out's of all the positions," he continued. "I feel a lot better out there running around now."

Having a pair of the nation's best playing in front of him, Holliman listened to the advice that they handed down.

"They are always critiquing the way I play," he explained. "They are helping me get out of my tendancies of cheating to one side with different coverages, so I don't show the quarterbacks what our coverage is."

Holliman gained his first start when the Cardinals visited Lexington and nearly secured his first career interception. After jumping the Kentucky receiver's route, Holliman had what appeared to be an interception, but the ball was stripped from his possession as he went to the turf.

"I did have it," he told Cardinal Authority. "I was in a battle for the ball and I tried to fall down with it, but the receiver yanked it out as I was falling."

While he didn't secure his first pick of his career on that day, his improving play is an indicator of what is to come.

"I have learned a lot," he said. "Every possession my teammates are telling me to get one. They always look at me as a ball hawk."

Holliman credits his increased time on the field to his growing understanding and the leadership of others.

"I'm getting better every week," he said. "They have all taught me a lot. My chemistry with my teammates is better and I'm learning to play with them real well."

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