Name: Thomas Holley
Why did he redshirt?
Holley came to the Florida Gators as one of the most highly touted prospects in the class of 2014. The blue-chipper from Brooklyn, New York missed out on an opportunity to play as a freshman when he needed surgery to repair the labrum in his hip. Holley had surgery for a sports hernia before arriving to Florida and the staff and team doctors though that the discomfort he felt was due to lingering affects from that procedure. A second checkup revealed the labrum issue and Holley tried to play through the pain and discomfort, knowing he would need surgery eventually. The pain was just too much to manage and the coaching staff and family decided to shut Holley down.
Depth at the position:
Holley is a versatile player but likely projects to play inside in at tackle. Inside with him are Caleb Brantley, Jay-nard Bostwick, Jon Bullard, Khairi Clark and Joey Ivie inside. Holley’s probably the most athletic of that bunch and should factor into the rotation on the defensive line.
Geoff Collins will rotate defensive linemen throughout the game. The previous coaching staff did the same and Collins did this at Mississippi State as well. Expect to see a lot of defensive linemen getting reps this season.
Holley has only played two years of football. Growing up, Holley preferred basketball and didn’t get serious about football until his junior year of high school. He’s raw as far as technique though but he moves like most 300-pound human beings only dream of moving.
Holley has raw physical power and speed. His technique needs some work but he’s a sponge on he field; a very coachable player.
Holley was in line to work his way into the rotation last year. He’s young and raw but his ceiling is so high. Holley is as talented a prospect as Florida has on the roster and is someone to keep an eye on as the Gators move into spring practice and into the season.