Sneak Peek: Jon Holland interview

EXTRA! EXTRA! We have a glimpse into the newest O-State Sports Report. Don't miss out on John Hoover's up-close-and-personal Q&A session with the newest Cowboy hero...

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OSU junior Jon Holland was a surprise starter in the season opener at Nebraska, and he hasn't been out of the lineup since. A backup to Thomas Wright throughout two-a-days after transferring from Northeastern A&M, Holland wasn't expected to have the kind of impact he has had. Holland has started all six games and, although slight at 175 pounds, is tied for fourth on the team with 34 tackles. In Lincoln, he had his first career interception and led the Cowboys with 12 tackles.

Q: How is it that a junior college transfer comes in and immediately makes a positive and lasting impact on a college football team?
A: I don't know. I really haven't been playing to the best of my abilities. Against K-State, I was messing up more than I usually do, in my whole career.

Q: This is not an easy defense to learn, though, is it?
A: It's kind of confusing, but you've just got to learn your stuff. You've just got to respond to that ball; as soon as it's out there and as soon as they're running, you've got to hit them.

Q: You came in weighing just 175 pounds. Are you still there?
A: No. I'm up to 180 now. I'm trying to get up to 200.

Q: How can someone so small be such a fierce hitter?
A: You've just got to have faith in what you can do and go hit. People say I hit hard, but I really don't see it. You just go out and hit.

Q: Do you crack guys in practice?
A: Coach tells me to keep my head up all the time in practice. We'll go "thud," which is not hitting, and usually I like to give the receiver a little bump in there.

Q: Have you always liked hitting?
A: It just comes from middle school, where I used to play linebacker. Middle school and high school. My freshman and sophomore year, I played linebacker and they just moved me to free safety. I played a little bit of corner and quarterback some. Taking all those hits at quarterback, you just reverse it and you get to hit the other quarterback.

Q: What about growing up? Did you have big brothers who toughened you up?
A: I had, like, five cousins. They always picked on me. I was the only one from my mom, and the rest of them, there were five of them and only one of me. I'd just get beat up and it made me tough. It don't matter how big you are, I just wanted to go hit you.

Q: Where did you grow up?
A: Duncan, Oklahoma.

Q: When did you get to Oklahoma City and John Marshall?
A: I got to John Marshall in '97. We moved to Oklahoma City when I was 11.

Q: You're a defensive back, but you're also a hitter. What scares you more, facing an offense that rushes for 300 yards a game, like Nebraska, or an offense that passes for 500 yards a game, like Texas Tech?
A: Passing. Running really doesn't hurt us. But passing, you get beat deep and the fans see that. You don't really want that to happen.

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