Season Wrap-Up: Kiaro Holts

North Carolina verbal commitment Kiaro Holts's senior football season ended abruptly Friday night, bringing a close to his high school career, though two all-star games await before he suits up in Carolina Blue.

Indianapolis (Ind.) Warren Central was upset by Indianapolis (Ind.) Lawrence Central in the first round of the IHSAA Class 5A playoffs.

"[Lawrence Central] had a really good quarterback and a pretty good backfield, and we weren't ready for that," Holts said.

Warren Central was ranked No. 25 in USA Today's Super 25 national poll and fully expected to repeat as state champions.

"We're still not ready to talk about it," Warren Central assistant coach Greg Brookey said. "We just had a night where a lot of things didn't go right. We felt like it was our state championship to lose. We had a lot of turnovers and mistakes Friday night, which led to the loss. It's a pretty tough pill to swallow."

Making it even tougher, Holts was finally returning to his 2009 form, which earned him scholarship offers from across the country. The 6-foot-6, 275-pound offensive lineman missed all or part of five games, including Warren Central's loss to nationally ranked Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville, with a toe injury.

"[Holts] was just getting in stride with the opening round of the playoffs last week," Brookey said. "He was just really starting to pick up where he left off last season."

When on the field, Holts was a big piece – figuratively and literally – of Warren Central's multiple offense starting at left tackle.

"The kid that played next to [Holts] is 6-4, 330 [pounds]," Brookey said. "So there weren't too many teams that could stop us when we choose to run the ball to that side."

Warren Central's 2010 campaign ends with an 8-2 record, including victories over all of its rivals.

Holts's prep career isn't completely finished yet. On Jan. 5, he'll play in the Under Armour All-American Game. He's the second Warren Central alum to receive such an honor – Jerimy Finch played in the East Meets West All-American Game.

"I feel pretty good about it," Holts said. "I'm really happy I was selected and I didn't have to go to the combine or anything.

"Jerimy Finch is one of the greatest players we had [at Warren Central]. I feel pretty good doing the same thing he got to do."

Holts will then participate in the USA Football's "Team USA vs. The World" game in February.

During the weekend of Nov. 13, Holts will return to UNC for his only official visit. The Tar Heels host Virginia Tech that Saturday.

Unlike most commitments who are taking their UNC official visit in-season, Holts isn't a midterm enrollee.

Holts said he considered officially visiting other schools, but has since dropped that idea. He says his commitment to UNC is 100-percent firm.

"When we have a kid that commits, we tell everyone else that they are off limits," Brookey said.

That hasn't stopped outside schools from continuing to pursue Holts. He says most of the schools that have offered him a scholarship are still recruiting him.

Holts speaks twice a week to Sam Pittman, UNC's offensive line coach.

"Mostly, [we discuss] the games that went on last weekend and getting ready for my official visit," Holts said. "I kind of left the [NCAA investigation] alone, but we talk about it a little bit. He said most of it is over with."

Pittman projects Holts as a left tackle.

"[Pittman] said I might get a couple reps a true freshman, as long as I beat some guys out," Holts said. "I feel like I can go in there and contribute somewhat in a couple games. It will be good to get some games under my belt."

Brookey believes left tackle is Holts' best fit on the collegiate level. However, Brookey adds that Holts is capable of playing any position along the offensive line.

"It just depends on [UNC's] need," Brookey said. "He has good feet [and] he's long. He's a hard working kid. He's got a big upside – he's only played offensive tackle for one year.

"He's got a lot of growing to do. He's 6-6, but only about 275 [pounds]. So he has a lot of filling out to do."

In addition to Pittman, Holts also communicates regularly with fellow UNC offensive line commitment Landon Turner.

"[Turner and I] just talk about how good we're going to be on the left side," Holts said.

Outside of the two All-American games he'll play in, Holts's focus now is on preparing for his UNC career. He doesn't plan on participating in any additional sports.

"I'm just going to work out pretty hard," Holts said.

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