It happened to be great news.
Notre Dame defensive coordinator Corwin Brown was on the telephone, and he wanted to offer the junior a scholarship.
"He just wanted to inform me, he studied my highlight tape and saw things that he liked and wanted me to keep it up," DeVonte Holloman said. Scout.com has him ranked as a four-star prospect. "But he didn't want to get me all out of whack, because this week is our championship game. He told me to concentrate on the game, because my coach told him, I would be a big part of the win this week."
That makes eight scholarship offers for Holloman, as he tries to help the Patriots win their eighth-straight 4AA state title. Independence (13-2) will play New Bern (13-2) on Saturday at Wake Forest. The Irish join Florida, Tennessee, Stanford, Clemson, South Carolina, North Carolina and N.C. State amongst programs that have offered a full ride.
Holloman noticed Irish defensive backs coach Bill Lewis watching him at practice last week, and his coach told him Notre Dame had been inquiring about him recently.
"My coach had gave me a little heads up that they were coming," Holloman said. "So I was excited and waiting for the offer. To hear from the defensive coordinator himself was a surprise. They called me out of class and I thought I was in trouble. Turned out it was the defense coordinator from Notre Dame offering me a scholarship, so that was exciting."
So is Holloman's play.
Holloman's defensive numbers are down a bit this season from a year ago, because early in the year he started out at quarterback. He has over 50 tackles, two interceptions and two forced fumbles. As a sophomore he had 96 tackles and four interceptions.
"I like to cover, but I'm also a hard hitter," Holloman said. He runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds, bench presses 280 pounds and squats 405. "Some people tell me I have the size of linebacker, so I take on that mentality. And I like to get the ball too."
With that, Holloman enjoyed his time at quarterback, where he ran for 398 yards and three touchdowns, including a long of 75 yards. He also threw for another 283 yards and two more scores.
"I could run the little read option thing," he said. "That was the main thing we ran but they let me throw the ball too."
Holloman, who has a 3.5 accumulative GPA, knows a fair amount about Notre Dame.
"My Dad's got a couple Notre Dame shirts around the house," he said. Chris Holloman played safety at Western Carolina. "I guess it was somewhere he wanted to go. I know about the history and all the tradition and stuff. The academics."
"I know they got a lot of NFL guys in there right now," Holloman said of the coaching staff. "That's always a good thing. You know if you have top-notch coaches, you have the tools to have a good program. I know Charlie Weis lost all his players last year. I guess this was a rebuilding year, and he is getting his players in there, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out."
Chris Holloman remembered when he went through the recruiting process back in 1990, Notre Dame was the place everyone wanted to go. His high school teammate Lance Johnson played offensive line for the Irish from 1990-93.
"That was everybody's dream," he stated. "Notre Dame was thee big-time program when I came through. I was in 1990, and I can specifically remember Tony Rice and Ricky Watters and those guys."
On Sept. 1, the first day programs could offer, Tom O'Brien at N.C. State had a scholarship offer ready for Holloman.
"That was kind of exciting, and this whole process is kind of exciting," Holloman said.
Holloman has been to games at Clemson, N.C. State and Georgia, though he wasn't really able to check out the campuses. Soon, he and his father will sit down and discuss what schools they're going to take visits to over the spring and summer. Holloman may participate in the U.S. Army National Combine showcasing the nation's top juniors the week of the All-American game.
"We'll try and make a lot of stops in the off season," Holloman said. "Hopefully we'll be committed before next season."
(Note: Charlie Weis normally makes Notre Dame's offers and Holloman may have been confused.)