Difference maker Q&A: Jon Holland

Oklahoma State gave Jon Holland a chance to further his football career beyond the JUCO level, and this saftey is showing his appreciation in the form of big plays.


This Saturday was obviously disappointing from a team perspective; however, you had a terrific individual performance.  What was your first Division-I college football game like?  It was pretty cool because of the atmosphere and everything, but it didn't feel much different than playing in junior college.  It felt the same way.  The backs, they were probably a little bit bigger, but the atmosphere, it was just lovely.  I just wanted to play Division 1 ever since I was little, you know, play for O-State. 


In your first game as a Cowboy, you intercepted a pass thrown by Nebraska quarterback Jammal Lord.  Take us through the play:  D-Will (Darrent Williams) deflected it, I was on the hash, and I saw the ball, and I was like, ‘I gotta hurry up and get over there,' and then do a little shuffling on the field and slide my feet out of bounds. 


What are some of the differences between junior college (NEO) and Division-I (OSU)?  Campus-wise, it's big here.  At NEO, we would just walk everywhere, but on campus, you've got to have a bike here!  It's pretty hard to walk.  The dorms here are lovely.  At NEO, we had to share a room, but here, I've got my own room…its pretty cool!  At OSU, they feed you steak and all of that…the food is good!


Where you recruited out of high school to play football?  Not really.  I talked to the NEO coaches after the All-State game.  I had two interceptions in that game, so their coaches started recruiting me, and I decided I would go ahead and go to junior college. 


How did you decide on OSU?  Coach Moeller and Coach Miles came up there and talked to me, and I had a lot of choices, but I chose OSU over everyone else.  I was a Junior College All-American, and was being recruited by a lot of people, including Louisiana-Lafayette, Arkansas, and Virginia Tech.


This past preseason, you started out at cornerback.  Now the coaches have you playing free safety:  The coaches recruited me as a safety when I was weighing 185 and 190 pounds.  I wasn't weighing that much when I came in, I only weighed 160.  Now I am back up to 175, and the coaches want me to try and pick up my weight so I can stay at safety.  I was just talking to some of the players, and I was telling them that I like corner, it's all right, but, I really love safety, I like to come up and hit people.  I've just got to gain some more weight.


OSU has tremendous depth at safety.  How does this help the football team?  We are competing against each other, but it is a team sport.  You've got Thomas and Chase backing me up, and I back them up.  It really isn't about me starting or anything, I just want to go out there and have fun and play. 


Give the fans your perspective of the 4-2-5 Defense:  I really like it because you've got more speed on defense.  The weak safety is really kind of like a linebacker.  The defense disrupts teams; they really don't know what we are doing.  They really don't know what schemes we are going to run at them; it's an advantage on our part. 


How do you like playing for Coach Clay and Coach Mallory?  I like all of the coaches.  They are pretty good coaches.  They teach you, and help you out.  If you make a mistake, they show you how to correct in on the film.  If you have any questions, they are always available.  The difference between this and junior college is, we have a lot more papers (scouting reports), and lot more video (film study). We didn't have this much video to study in junior college.


Who are some of your best friends on the football team?  Elbert Craig, all the junior college players from NEO, they are all my close friends.  Robert (Jones), Paul (Francis), Efe (Mowarin), Scooby (Antonio Smith).  Also, Jamie Thompson, Freddie Sinclair, and Fath' Carter. 


How are all your junior college teammates adjusting to Oklahoma State?  They can't complain, because we all have a second chance.  We have a second chance to play football, so that is what we focus on.


What does Jon Holland like to do off the football field?  Right now, I'm just trying to stay up with all of this work.  Other than that, I like to talk on the phone with my family…I'm just glad to be here, and to get my education.


What is your favorite place to eat in Stillwater?  Shortcakes.  I eat that country breakfast.  That country breakfast is pretty good.  

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