Utes Upgrading Walk-On Talent

Southern California athlete Jay Holland adds to Utah's talent pool

Part of being a pac-12 program is having Pac-12 level talent; both on scholarship and with walk-ons. The scholarship level talent is getting there for the Utes, and so are the walk-ons with guys like Jay Holland out of Lancaster (Ca) Paraclete High School who will be enrolling at Utah shortly.

"Utah invited me out for their game against UCLA. My dad and I come out and watched it and really enjoyed the atmosphere. I had more visits to take, but felt like Utah was a really good fit for me."

The athlete from Southern California liked Utah because of the family atmosphere so many people talk about when visiting Salt Lake City.

"I really liked the setting at Utah. It was more of a small town and fits me better. I'm from a small school and Utah really has that family feel that makes me feel comfortable."

Relationships and informative information were important aspects in Holland's recruitment, and he received all the answers he needed when visiting the school.

"I usually talked with Doug Kimmel and Coach Whittingham. When I was on my visit, Doug was telling me how I'd fit in at Utah and explained everything I needed to know about the school."

Once on campus, the 6-0, 170 pounder hopes to make an immediate impact in any way he can.

"I'm mostly going to be on special teams to start as a kick returner and punt returner. I can alos play some slot receiver or safety if they want me there, but mostly special teams for now."

Utah has been known to award scholarships to walk-ons, something Holland knows he'll have to work hard for.

"The coaches said I'll have a good chance of earning a scholarship if I keep working hard and am one of the top workers on the team."

A track star in high school as well as on the football field, Holland parlayed that into offers in both sports.

"I had scholarship offers from San Diego, Utah Valley for track, Montana State, Humboldt State, and a partial scholarship from Cal."

With summer conditioning starting soon, Holland will be on campus very soon.

"I graduated from high school two weeks ago. I leave in a week and will be at Utah on June 8."

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