Lincoln's top football player changes mind after coach leaves to NFL
By Rob Abruzzese
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
It was nearly one month ago that Thomas Holley announced his commitment to Penn State, but things changed when head coach Bill O’Brien left to coach the NFL’s Houston Texans. As a result, Holley has switched his commitment from Penn State to Florida, according to Derek Tyson of ESPN.
The problem was that after O’Brien left, Penn State’s defensive coach Larry Johnson went to Ohio State and Johnson was a big part of the reason why Holley choose Penn in the first place.
“I think it was just kind of hard for me to build a relationship with a coaching staff in two weeks, when I had spent 10 months building a relationship with the previous coaching staff,” Holley told ESPN. “It really came down to the why between Penn State and Florida. At Florida, I already had a great relationship with the coaching staff, so it made it an easier decision.”
With Johnson going to Ohio State there was some speculation that Holley could go there, especially since his friend Curtis Samuel has already committed there. However, Holley said that there just wasn’t a fit between him and Ohio, “I stuck to what I knew and what was best for me and that was Florida.”
Holley told the Brooklyn Eagle that once O’Brien left for Houston that a number of teams began calling him and mentioned Notre Dame, where friend Jay Hayes is committed, as one he might consider. That seemed like a long-shot though because it seemed like Holley was choosing between Penn State and Florida the entire time.
Now, for the second time, Holley’s recruitment is officially over and this time it seems for real. He certainly doesn’t seem like a fickle personality and was, at one point, fully committed to Penn State. If it weren’t for coach Johnson leaving there is a very strong chance that he would have stayed there. Florida isn’t some whim either, it was a school that he heavily considered for a long time. Expect him to honor this commitment.
“I’m not trying to be a person that is constantly changing up what they want to do,” Holley said. “When I make a decision, I want to make sure it’s the right decision, and that’s why I’ve been taking my time with the process. Even after the coaching staff change, I took my time, I sat down with my family and weighed out all my options, and that’s what it came down to. This is my last hoorah, as far as schools. I don’t plan on changing up anytime soon. I don’t plan on decommitting from Florida and going somewhere else. This is it for me.”