Clay offensive tackle Will Holden from Green Cove Springs, FL has been hitting the weights, putting on size and getting stronger since playing his junior season for the Clay Blue Devils. The 6-foot-6, 275 pound tackle has transformed his body during the off-season and it's easily noticed.
"I'm a lot bigger and a lot stronger now. Last season I was at 6'5, and around 245 pounds," said Holden. "It's a good weight and I've gotten a lot stronger in the weight room. I'm bench pressing 300 and can power clean 300 pounds. I have great agility but I need to work on my 40 time, I probably run a 5.5 now."
Holden is playing left tackle for Clay, but can also play on the right side and did so during his junior year.
"My best assets are my football knowledge and my feet work," said Holden. "I'm still growing into my frame so I want to get stronger, quicker and improve my technique."
On the recruiting front programs have taken noticed of Holden's transformation, with plenty of coaches coming by for a visit, showing interest and extending offers.
"Recruiting is going great and I'm up to eight offers," said Holden. "I have offers from Bowling Green, UMass, South Alabama, Southern Miss, FIU, FAU, USF and Louisville. My most recent ones are from USF and Louisville. I got USF a few days ago and Louisville about 2 weeks ago."
"I was real excited to get the USF offer. I've been following them for some time," said Holden. "My brother actually goes to USF so I know a lot about the school itself, but I don't know all the in and outs of the football program."
With eight offers in hand the offensive tackle has a short list of schools standing out with two BIG EAST programs out in front.
"I like South Florida and I like Louisville," said Holden. "I like a few other schools but they haven't offered yet. I like West Virginia, Georgia Tech, and I'm also talking to Michigan State, Iowa State, and Kentucky."
Holden said that Louisville, USF, and FAU are recruiting him the hardest, and talks about why both the Bulls and Cardinals football programs stand out to him.
"I like the BIG EAST, and just really like that conference," said Holden. "It's a good conference and I've followed it for some time. Even though USF is in Florida, they play a lot of good games outside of the state."
The Clay offensive tackle said he has been talking to USF offensive line coach Steve Shankweiler and was happy to get the Bulls offer.
"Coach Shankweiler told me they're only recruiting three offensive linemen and wants me to be a part of that," said Holden. "I called him the other night and he said he was in Georgia looking at a tailback that would look great running behind me. That was real encouraging to me for South Florida."
"I like Coach Shankweiler. He seems very passionate about what he does," said Holden. "I look forward to meeting more in-depth with him and finding out more about USF. He said he's coming up here Friday to watch me."
Holden said he's been to the USF many times, watched the Bulls on TV and been to several home games.
"I've been to the campus a lot. It's nice and I like it," said Holden. "I watch them almost every time they're on TV and like the way they play. I was at Raymond James Stadium when they beat Kansas and the Cincinnati game too. I sat in the student section and it was really live there. My brother wore the horns and had a Bull painted on his chest. It was a real good time.
Holden already has taken an unofficial visit to Georgia Tech and plans on seeing a few schools this summer for their camps.
"I'm going to my brother's graduation from boot camp on the way back go to Louisville's camp on June 18th," said Holden "I'm also planning on going to their one day camp at USF. I'm not sure what else yet."
The stand-out offensive line prospect said he wants to find a place where he feels the most comfortable at, and plans on making an early decision.
"I'm think I'll make my decision sometime after the summer," said Holden. "I'll probably narrow things down to a top five and then take my five official visits."
In the classroom Holden is a solid student, carries a 4.29 weighted GPA, and scored a 23 on the ACT and is fully qualified.
Stay tuned with USFNation.com as we keep you updated on Will Holden's recruitment and the rest of the class of 2012.