C-USA Battle Forming For Holl

Always looking for hard-hitting Safeties, the Rice Owls have their eyes on local standout. Seems a battle is forming with an old foe to gain the commit of this coveted prospect...

If you saw any of the Division II 5A State Playoff Games involving the Katy Tigers last fall you probably noticed that #25 for the Tigers was around the ball a lot, and hitting people hard when he was.

That #25 jersey is worn by Katy Linebacker Sam Holl, and several college recruiters have also noticed his fierce style of play.

Rice, Houston, SMU, Colorado State, Purdue, and Kansas State, among others, all like what they see from Holl. But two schools are on top right now for the state champion.

"Right now I have offers from Rice and SMU. It's early but I guess you could say they are my leaders."

I'll get to what Holl likes about both later, but first here's a little of what colleges like about Holl.

He's a big hitter for one, but also a sure tackler. Holl seems to have good instincts and vision - which means he's always around the ball and reads what the offense is doing before it happens.

Holl was named Co-Defensive Player of the Year in District 17-5A, along with fellow Rice recruit James Radcliffe of Cinco Ranch. In a playoff extended season he tallied 178 tackles and 13 pass break-ups.

"He was one of our better players," Katy Head Coach Gary Joseph said. "He's a real smart kid. He doesn't have blazing speed but he's a very coachable kid who plays fearless."

Physically, he packs a big wallop. Holl is currently 6-1 190 and though his coach alludes to otherwise, he just ran the 40 in 4.48 seconds in testing at Katy High School. More than adequate. He also sports a 33" vertical. He will obviously fill out in a college strength and conditioning program and projects to a big 6-1 205 headhunter at the next level.

But these attributes are pre-requisite for Division I football players, and are good but perhaps not extraordinary features for a top prospect. The thing that colleges like even more about Holl are the "intangibles"; they are what makes Holl special.

One college coach here in Texas describes him this way.

"That kid is a throw-back type player. He's tough, he plays with grit, and he'll hit the (pee) out of you. You look up and he's always around the ball. He's the kind of hard nosed kid you need on your football team. He makes plays, pure and simple."

Obviously several colleges agree with that assessment, but as mentioned two are at the front of the pack currently.

Rice - "I like Rice. I know I could get a good education there. They had a great season last year so they are building a winning program. I like the Defense they run because it lets the Safety make a lot of plays."

SMU - "I think SMU is going to turn things around with June Jones. They are rebuilding the program, so that's something that would fun to be a part of."

The Mustangs may also have another slight advantage in Holl's recruitment - Bo Levi Mitchell. The SMU Quarterback is from Katy, and has a younger brother.

"Bo's younger brother is my best friend. So yeah we hear a lot about what's going on up there."

Sounds like Rice has it's work cut out for them in landing Holl, but he is far from ready to make a decision yet.

"I plan on going to some camps this summer. I might go to A&M's. I going to wait a while and talk to other schools and take some visits before I make a decision. I know I'm going to camps at Rice and SMU. I could see myself at either of those places but I'm going to check out my options."

While the battle is heating up for Holl, he told me he does plan on attending Rice's Junior Day this weekend.

We'll keep you posted on Sam as his recruitment unfolds...

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