2009 Intro: DeVonte Holloman

CHARLOTTE --- DeVonte Holloman, one of the top 2009 prospects in the state, grew up following North Carolina football and basketball.

"My dad is a North Carolina fan, so is my uncle," Holloman said. "So I've grown into [being a fan]."

Looking at UNC from a recruit's prospective Holloman, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound athlete from Charlotte Independence, still sees a lot of positives with the Tar Heels.

"It's close to home, good coaches – nice coaches, and I talk to one of the former players from Independence, Hakeem [Nicks], and he says he likes it a lot so I take that into consideration," Holloman said. "They take care of [Nicks] – I like that about the school."

A regular producer of talent, Independence has alumni at numerous schools. In addition to Nicks, Holloman also speaks regularly to Joe Cox and Mohamed Massaquoi, both currently playing for Georgia.

"They're not really recruiting me," Holloman said of the Bulldogs. "I ask them honestly what the school is like. I feel like they give me their honest opinions about the schools. They want the best for me, so they're telling me the truth about the schools."

Additionally, Holloman is attempting to reconnect with Jason Barnes, who is currently at South Carolina, to get his perspective of the Gamecocks.

Holloman's scholarship list stands at 11 offers and includes Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Michigan, UNC, Notre Dame, and Stanford. He has yet to eliminate any schools from consideration.

"I'm trying to get it down to five by the summer or the beginning of the season," Holloman said. "I'm looking for good coaches, a place where I can get better – I don't mind waiting I just want to get better at the same time. [I'll focus on] location and academics – I want my parents to be able to come and I want to get a good education just in case I don't make it to the next level."

While still in the research stages, Holloman says there aren't any schools safe to make his final five.

"Once I get done doing junior days and visiting, [and] talk to the coaches maybe I'll have a better idea then," Holloman said.

Holloman has already unofficially visited Clemson, UNC, and NC State. Over the course of the next six months, he plans to visit many of the schools in the southeast as well as Michigan and Notre Dame.

"[I'll attend] junior days, maybe some unofficial visits – as much as I can do within the rules to get a good look at the schools," Holloman said.

A week ago, NCAA rules prevented Holloman from attending UNC's basketball against Duke. Holloman, who was on hand for UNC's basketball game against Maryland, is considering attending UNC's Junior Day this Saturday.

"I might be there this weekend," Holloman said. "I'm debating on whether I'm going to be going to the junior day or not. If I don't, I'll go to Georgia, but it's looking like I'll be visiting UNC."

Holloman says he speaks to Tommy Thigpen, his UNC primary recruiter, "every now and then."

"For the most part, I don't talk to many coaches," Holloman said. "I try not to listen to them all the time. I try to either wait to find out for myself or talk to somebody I know."

UNC, like other schools, is recruiting Holloman as a safety. Aaron Brand, an assistant coach at Independence, sees similarities in Holloman and current UNC starting free safety Deunta Williams.

"I'd like to see those guys play together," Brand said. "Both of them are long and rangy…

"DeVonte wants to play safety; he wants to make that known. He doesn't want to be one of those guys that they move down to linebacker. He's a safety that hits like a linebacker, but with cover skills of a corner."

Holloman is focused on improving his game.

"The main thing he's working on is getting his 40-time down under a 4.5 [second time], so that he can really make some plays early on in his college career," Brand said. "He's going to be one of those guys who's going to be ready to play right now once he gets on somebody's college campus."

As good of a player as Holloman is on the field, he might be better off.

"He's very upstanding," Brand said. "You're never going to hear about him with any grade problems. Everything he says is going to be ‘Yes sir,' ‘No sir.'"

Primarily, Holloman played strong safety for Independence, but Brand says he fits best as a centerfielder-type free safety.

"My role on the team is to help the team win, so wherever I have to be is where I'm going to be," Holloman said. "Just like last year whenever they needed me at quarterback, I was at quarterback. But when they didn't need me there, I was back home on defense."

As a junior, Holloman recorded over 50 tackles, two interceptions and two forced fumbles. As a sophomore he had 96 tackles and four interceptions.

DeVonte Holloman

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