Four-star DT Holley drops Penn State for Florida

By Adam Silverstein
January 15, 2014

For the fourth time in the last 11 days, the Florida Gators have flipped a highly-regarded prospect committed to another program with four-star defensive tackle Thomas Holley (Brooklyn, NY) snubbing the Penn State Nittany Lions to instead continue his career playing college football in Gainesville, FL.

Ranked No. 63 overall in the Rivals100, Holley began wavering after head coach Bill O’Brien left Penn State for the Houston Texans. Florida was already in his ear about changing his commitment but gained even greater momentum after O’Brien made his decision and PSU defensive line coach Larry Johnson left for a gig with Ohio State.

Holley (6-foot-4, 299 pounds) is also listed as a four-star prospect and ranked 51st nationally by ESPN. He had an impressive offer list with Alabama, Florida State, OSU and numerous other programs hoping to add his services.

Also a basketball player, Holley is seen as an athletic interior defensive lineman who has great burst, effort and pass rush abilities but needs to improve his pad level and hands when defending the run.

He will draw some comparisons to former Gators DT Dominique Easley, who just so happens to be Florida’s last commitment from the state of New York.

Florida now has 21 players committed for the 2014 recruiting cycle after a whirlwind last few weeks. The Gators have added five-star cornerback Jalen Tabor (Washington, DC), four-star running back Brandon Powell (Deerfield Beach, FL), three-star offensive lineman Kavaris Harkless (Jacksonville, FL) and four-star defensive end Gerald Willis III (New Orleans, LA) all since Jan. 2.


  1. gatorcooken says:

    Great news. Muschamp recruiting his TAIL off. Love the enthusiasm and there seems to be an uptick in positivity surrounding the Gator program. May be like 2013 Auburn and surprise everyone this year?

    It’s a long off season filled with drugs, women, and all sorts of shenanigans, but color this Gator optimistic.
    Go Gators!

  2. Ejlgator33 says:

    O. Baby. Bring tha thundaaa. Hope that we’ll all be singing ‘the Champ is here’ after next season. Keeping em coming boys.

  3. JayV says:

    This is getting out of hand!

    • gatorboi352 says:

      Muschamp taking a page out of Billy D’s player transfer book lol

      • Daniel M. says:

        Okay, you’re no Gator. You’re just a troll.

        • 305Gator says:

          Nahh Danny, “boi” is a Gator alright. He is just misguided and a little bit jaded but he”l come around when we have a good year in 2014.

        • gatorboi352 says:

          Wow you totally misread my statement. Or perhaps you’re just jaded.

          My point is, Billy D has had much success as of late with player transfers from other schools.

          How bitter are you people?

  4. Joe says:

    I was really hoping Holley would reconsider – This is great news. I’m still holding out hope that we can get our hands on Damian Prince. It’s all about recruiting the line this year.

  5. 305Gator says:

    The demise of the Gator program and the supposed incompetence of the coaching staff has been greatly, truly greatly exaggerated.
    Go Gators!

    • G2 says:

      Not to be a Debbie Downer, without good coaching and player development it doesn’t translate to wins. Look how many 4 star guys we have riding the bench or not playing up to speed.
      Think he is recruiting his ass off, maybe a top 5 class this year with Prince and Jackson? The new OC gives me hope that Driskel will be much better than we think next year.

      • 305gator says:

        Next season hinges on Roper getting Driskel to perform like he did in high school, it all starts with the QB. If Driskel doesn’t get “fixed” then we will have another long sorry year.

  6. Matt says:

    Still hoping we finish the class with Carter, Jones, McKenzie, A. Jackson and Prince.

    • sjkoepp says:

      Finishing out with all of those guys seems pretty unrealistic, but I’ll be happy if we can land jones and prince.

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