DE Holland picks Lions over ’Noles
On Saturday morning, Potomac, Md. Bullis School rising senior defensive end Jonathan Holland received a scholarship offer from national champion Florida State.
By Saturday afternoon, Holland was a Penn State Nittany Lion.
Holland became the latest 2015 high school football prospect to commit to Penn State while on a visit to University Park with several other players from the Washington, D.C. area, continuing the Nittany Lions’ remarkable recruiting run this spring.
Now with 13 members, Penn State’s class is ranked second in the country to Alabama by all major recruiting services.
Although he’s a consensus three-star recruit, Holland has a list of scholarship offers befitting a more highly rated prospect. In addition to the Seminoles and Nittany Lions, Georgia, Clemson, Nebraska, West Virginia and North Carolina State were among more than a dozen programs that had been seeking the 6-foot-5, 225-pounder’s pledge.
Holland had 9 1/2 tackles for loss, 3 1/2 sacks and two passes defensed last season when Bullis went 9-1. It was his first season seeing significant time on the defensive side of the ball for Bullis, although he worked primarily on defense when he was younger.
Holland is the third player who projects to defensive end in this Nittany Lion class, joining Gaithersburg, Md.’s Kamonte Carter and suburban Philadelphia’s Ryan Buchholz. Penn State also has gotten a commitment from four-star Gaithersburg, Md. defensive tackle Adam McLean, who was in Happy Valley for Holland’s visit as well.
McLean and Holland have been friends for a couple of years. McLean said he didn’t push Holland to commit to the Lions beyond helping outline the opportunities he felt they had at University Park, but he was happy to see his friend join him in the class.
“I’m extremely pumped up. Me and Jon have a really good relationship with each other. That’s like family to me,” McLean said. “That we both play defensive line and he committed [Saturday] is extremely exciting for me and for my family and for the Penn State family. We got another guy from the DMV [D.C./Maryland/Virginia] area and a wonderful person. Jon is an all-around guy. I feel like he’s a perfect fit for them.”
Along with Holland and McLean, rising juniors Dwayne Haskins and Trevon Diggs made the trip to University Park this weekend. Diggs, whose brother was one of the top receiver prospects in the country before signing with Maryland a couple of years ago, already has offers from Clemson, Georgia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Nebraska. A quarterback, Haskins list even is more impressive: It includes Ohio State, Florida and Florida State along with Clemson, Nebraska, Arizona State and Virginia Tech.
Penn State appears on the verge of another major verbal in the next couple of days, and maybe more than one. Baldwin four-star offensive tackle Sterling Jenkins is scheduled to be at Penn State on Monday and is slated to announce his college choice on Tuesday – Jenkins is deciding between the Lions and Ohio State, but most analysts expect Penn State to be his choice.
In addition, New Jersey quarterback Brandon Wimbush could announce a decision in the near future. Penn State is perceived to be the current favorite over Ohio State and Miami.
Both Jenkins and Wimbush recently received offers from Alabama, but the Crimson Tide currently don’t appear to be serious factors in either’s choice.