Size: 6-5, 338 pounds
Year: Junior (two-year letterman)
High school: Dublin (Dublin, Calif.)
Hometown: Dublin, Calif.
Spencer Hollie, a two-star prospect in the class of 2013, made a midseason commitment to SMU during his senior season after watching the Mustangs beat Tulsa at Ford Stadium. His only FBS offer was from SMU, but California, UCLA and San Jose State were showing interest in him when he committed. A high school defensive end, Hollie notched 15 sacks during his senior season, earning Diablo Foothill Athletic League player of the year honors. He’s an SMU legacy as well. His father, Doug, played defensive end for SMU during the 1980s.
Hollie played in seven games and totaled eight tackles. His playing time was inconsistent, and he didn’t do much when he played. His conditioning appeared to be an issue as well. Hollie came to SMU weighing about 280 pounds but was around 350 during the season. He grew tired quickly and didn’t show much burst or mobility off the line of scrimmage, which limited his effectiveness on a defensive line that had its struggles in 2014.
Hollie’s outlook coming off the 2014 season didn’t look great, but he’s worked hard under the new strength program and showed some flashes during spring ball. He moved much better, looked faster and stronger off the line of scrimmage and caused a little disruption on the interior. Most importantly, he looked in much better condition. He’s one example of the players buying into Chad Morris’s turnaround and putting in work.
Hollie mostly played defensive tackle in SMU’s 3-4 defense the last couple years, but played some defensive end too. In the new four-man front, he’ll exclusively play tackle. His best fit is at the 1-technique, where he played most of his snaps in the spring practices. Hollie has always possessed strength, and now that he looks a little better off the ball, he should be able to use his strength and improved burst to create a little pressure from the interior. He was an excellent pass rusher in high school, so he’s no stranger to bringing pressure. Hollie won’t be a lock to start at the 1-tech with Mason Gentry making the move from defensive end. The two will likely compete for a starting spot, but both will see their fair share of snaps regardless of who starts. As long as Hollie keeps up his good work from the spring, he’ll be a rotational piece at worst and a starter at best. Twenty-five tackles and a sack or two is a reasonable expectation stat-wise, with a handful of those tackles being stuffs or tackles for loss.