In this installment of the Recruiting Notebook, we meet a big and physical DT whose size at the point of attack will be useful down the line: Buford (GA) DT Jalar Holley.
In their pursuit of DTs in the 2019 class, the Miami Hurricanes leaned on a strong relationship between coach and HS program. Jess Simpson, Miami’s DL coach, was once the legendary head coach at Buford (GA), where his teams won 7 State Championships in his 12 year tenure as HC. Add in another 3 titles in 8 years, as an assistant, and Simpson won 10 titles in 20 years of HSFB coaching. Pretty good, IYAM.
Now, this matters because when Simpson went out on the recruiting trail this year, he returned to his old stomping grounds — a few years removed after stints at Georgia Southern and with the Atlanta Falcons — in Buford to go after 2019 DT Jalar Holley. A stout 6’2” 280lb player, Holley fit the bill for the kind of interior defender that Simpson wanted to bring to Miami’s defense.
Holley took a visit to Miami for last year’s Paradise Camp, where he showed well in front of Canes coaches, and then committed. With more than 20 offers to his name, Holley could have picked a number of Power 5 schools, but the connection to the University of Miami, and the position coach who is a legend in his hometown, made the Canes the easy choice.
After committing in July, Holley took a couple more trips down to Coral Gables. And, when he was home in Georgia, he helped Buford to a deep playoff run (State Quarterfinals) and earned honorable mention All-State for his efforts.
There were other more highly touted players on Buford’s defense than Holley, and that will probably be the case at Miami too. But, he’s a solid player, with good size, developing skill, and solid performance in one of the toughest HSFB states in the country. Give the S&C staff a year to help him get bigger and stronger, and Holley should be a nice player at Miami down the line, too.
On the 247sports composite, Holley is a 3-star prospect, the #59 DT nationally in this class, #709 in the State of Georgia, and #777 recruit overall.
Holley signed with Miami over 21 other offers, a list which included such teams as Auburn, Florida, Michigan State, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
As a Player
Holley is a stout defender at the point of attack, and his ability to play against the run is his best skill. At 6’2” 280lbs, Holley has very good size, and played well for Buford, who made it to the Georgia 5A quarterfinals.
Holley didn’t have eye popping stats as a senior, but few DTs do. He was solid against the run, occasionally impactful using a bull rush in passing situations, and allowed other players to make plays by occupying offensive linemen and letting his teammates run free.
The best part of Holley’s game is his run defense. He’s stout at the point of attack and routinely rag dolled offensive linemen on his way to making a TFL. Holley routinely faced double teams on the interior of the line from his 0-tech, 1-tech, or 3-tech DL alignments, and was able to power past them to create pressure, disrupt plays, and even make sacks (though the latter is not the biggest part of his game by a longshot).
Holley is a big boy at 6’2” 280lbs, so he’s not the swiftest player on the field. He does display a good motor to chase plays down from time to time, but he could improve his short area quickness — the only speed metric that matters for him because he’ll probably never sprint 40 yards in a game in the rest of his career.
- Experience at multiple alignments (0-tech, 1-tech, 3-tech)
- Solid build
- Good strength
- Technique (can always develop)
- Strength (every player can be stronger)
- limited quickness/speed
- more of a “solid piece” than a “superstar”
Miami needs DTs, and Holley does several things well. But, realistically, he would be bet served by using this season to play in a couple games, develop physically and with his technique, and look to be a rotation DT in the future.
Chances for a redshirt: 10/10
Absent a rash of injuries, I don’t think there’s any way Holley doesn’t redshirt in 2019. And that’s fine. Everybody isn’t a day 1 superstar. His best years in a Canes uniform are definitely ahead of him.
That’s it for this installment of the Recruiting Notebook.