Panther Profile: Jarred Holley

Over the next few weeks as the Panthers begin spring practice, the Pantherdigest will be profiling the members of the class of 2008 that will land in Oakland this year. You will read several interesting stories about the future Panthers including Easton's Jarred Holley.

Future University of Pittsburgh defensive back Jarred Holley would like to follow in the footsteps of such Panthers football luminaries as Mark May, Bill Fralic, Scott Kaplan, Yogi Roth and Penny Semaia.

What's that? You say the above former players weren't defensive backs, and it will be a long time before Kaplan or Roth will have their numbers retired?

True, but they all did become prominent sportscasters, which is what Holley would eventually like to become.

In fact, his prowess on the gridiron at Easton High School led him into an initial foray in sportscasting at a local radio station, WEEX in Easton, Pennsylvania.

"The local TV station, Channel 69, where I'm from would interview me after games. I was speaking with them and one of the sportscasters asked me if I wanted to be a co-host," Holley said.

So, last Feb. 2 Holley took to the airwaves with Jim Vaughn and subbed for regular co-host Troy Hein on "69 Sports Saturday," a Saturday morning sports talk show on the Lehigh Valley's WEEX-AM.

"When he told us he wanted to be a communications major at Pitt we threw it out there as an opportunity and he took to it," said Hein. "He did a nice job."

"It was the Saturday morning before the Super Bowl," Holley remembered. "I picked the Patriots."

Yet the fact Holley would be enough of a name that he could co-host a talk show in his native Easton is a testimony to his career to date.

In 2006, he scored two rushing touchdowns in a nationally televised 21-7 Easton victory against Phillipsburg, N.J. in the 100th game between the two rivals.

Last Thanksgiving, in the 101st meeting of "The Battle of the Hill," Holley had three interceptions and scored on a 3-yard run in a 17-6 triumph against the Stateliners.

If that wasn't enough, he was a two time all-state selection and four year starter at the 11th winningest high school football program in the country. He scored 48 touchdowns and intercepted 21 passes in his prep career, was selected for this summer's "Big 33" game, and he even played in the final tackle football game at Miami's Orange Bowl on Jan. 4 in the Offense/Defense All-American Bowl high school football all-star game.

"It was an opportunity to get out of Pennsylvania and see new athletes from all over the country," he said of the latter experience. "The icing on the cake was playing at the Orange Bowl."

And though he admits to being a rabid Philadelphia Eagles fan, training alongside the Steelers at the UPMC complex is something he is looking forward to.

"I'm going to be right there and can befriend someone. That's a positive," Holley said, noting he saw Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin while visiting the complex.

On his official visit, Holley was impressed with the laid-back attitude and NFL experience of Pitt's coaches and the City of Pittsburgh itself.

"I just really enjoyed my visit out there and the coaches there, and once you go through the tunnels and you hit the city and see the view it's overwhelming," he said.

"There's so much to do there, and once I graduate the city will provide job opportunities too, so that's a big plus."

So after four years of rooting for Holley, perhaps Pittsburgh sports fans can then spend time calling him up on his talk show.

Where, on a slow sports day, he may be able to entertain his listeners with a few references from his favorite television show, the classic "Fresh Prince of Bel Air."

"I always watched that! It's a good show! It's funny- you can learn a lot," he said.

"I can kind of relate to it with some references [since main character Will Smith hailed from West Philadelphia] but the outlook of the whole show is good."

Until then, Pitt fans are hoping Holley is "nothing but trouble" to opposing receivers.

Panther More Top Stories