May 23, 2013

Rivals100 DT has long relationship with Sunseri, Haggins

Last year, Florida State landed JUCO defensive end Desmond Hollin from Brooklyn, N.Y. This year, Florida State is headed back to the area to see if it can convince four-star defensive tackle Thomas Holley to head to Tallahassee too.

Two FSU coaches are hard at work to make sure it happens.

"I'm very interested in Florida State. I talk with Coach (Sal) Sunseri all the time. He's a real good coach and I talk with Coach Odell (Haggins) a lot as well," said the Rivals100 prospect. "FSU was one of the earliest schools to offer me. I've known Coach Sunseri for a while. He's a fun, cool guy that knows what he's talking about."

Haggins also has played a big part in Holley's recruitment.

"He's a real cool guy. We've built a very good relationship. Coach Haggins likes how I get low and explode fast off the line of scrimmage and how I go hard every play," said Holley.

Now that he has established relationships with the coaches, he wants to check out FSU for himself.

"I will visit Florida State in the middle of June. I definitely want a chance to talk with all the different coaches and what they expect out of me if I were to go there - like playing time, environment and how much I like it there."

Holley is also focused on academics and plans to study Criminology when he gets to college. One factor in FSU's favor is it has one of the best programs in the country.

"I'm going to major in Criminal Justice. Definitely interested in their Criminology program and now I just want to get more information about it when I visit," he said. "See what it is like and how good it is and do they have any networking (opportunities)."

Pittsburgh and Temple are the most recent schools to offer. As those offers continue to pile up, Holley plans to narrow his list soon. That cut will happen after he takes unofficial visits to FSU, Florida, Miami, Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame.

What will 6-foot-4, 299 pound defensive tackle focus on when he visits schools and starts to break everything down?

"The main thing I will focus on is getting to know the coaches and build relationships when I'm there," he said.

After he makes the cut, he will take official visits. He doesn't have any predetermined visits.

In the meantime, he will participate in the largest collection of talent in the country at the invitation only Rivals Five-Star Challenge at Solider Field in Chicago.

"I'm very excited because I wasn't sure I would get picked. I'm very ecstatic about this event," said the No. 84 ranked player in the country. "It's about going against some very good competition, competing against the best and getting some very good coaching. I'm really looking forward to it."

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