Dechaun Holiday (6'2.5, 208)
San Marcos (Calif.) Mission Hills
No. 11 CB, No. 76 Overall
Introduction: As we wrote about in the Colin Samuel official visit preview, getting a lockdown cornerback in this class was imperative, with that being the final piece to the puzzle for UCLA's defense to make the leap to the upper echelon in the Pac-12 and in the country. While Dechaun Holiday may or may not be a corner at the next level, his athleticism and talent would immediately upgrade the defensive back depth chart, and give UCLA one more potential option at cornerback.
Recruitment: Let there be no mistake: there was a legitimate battle for Holiday, up until about the end of Summer. USC, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona State have all been in the mix for him at one time or another, but what set UCLA apart, at least initially, was the willingness of the UCLA coaching staff to give him a real opportunity at corner. Since then, his interest has broadened into a real affinity for the school and coaching staff, and at this point, it would be one of the shocks of the year if Holiday announced for any school other than UCLA. He'll announce on Sunday, during the Super Bowl, and this visit will likely be used as an opportunity to recruit other players to join him in Westwood.
Evaluation: Holiday is a long, athletic prospect, with a potential future at a variety of positions. Scout has him listed as a corner, and there's obviously a chance he'll be able to play that position at the next level. There is some concern, though, that he's simply going to outgrow the position. At 6'3-ish already, he's at about the height limit for cornerbacks, and he's already pretty thick. Our guess is that he ends up playing safety, or even receiver, and with his athleticism, he could by dynamic at either position. His physicality and athleticism are his best attributes, and if he can continue to work on his quickness, he could still find a home at corner down the road. At UCLA, we'd imagine he'll get a long initial look at corner, with the need probably greatest there, but long term, we see his body continuing to fill out and him ending up as a long, rangy safety.
Official Visit Preview: Dechaun Holiday
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