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Grizzlies' Holiday feels recruiting pinch

02/10/2014, 10:30am PST
By John Maffei

Mission Hills DB has offers from SDSU, USC, UCLA, Tennessee, Alabama and more.

Mission Hills High cornerback DeChaun Holiday during practice.

Two years ago, college football recruiters flocked to Mission Hills High to watch cornerback Devin Holiday.

They marveled as Holiday made play after play.

But the recruiters were looking at the wrong Holiday. DeChaun Holiday, Devin's sophomore cousin, was the one making the plays.

Things worked out well for the 5-foot-10, 155-pound Devin Holiday. He accepted a scholarship to Arizona and played in all 13 games last season as a freshman, recording seven tackles with three passes defended and an interception.

Now, with the recruiting class of 2013 mostly complete, it's DeChaun's turn.

And recruiters can't get of the 6-2, 195-pound DeChaun as he heads into his senior.

"DeChaun will be the most high-profile player we've ever had," said Mission Hills Coach Chris Hauser.

Already, Holiday has scholarship offers from San Diego State, USC, UCLA, Tennessee, Alabama, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Arizona, Arizona State, Washington, Washington State, Utah, Colorado, San Jose State and Vanderbilt.

"Being here, watching my teammates, is a great experience," Holiday said Wednesday as he watched Mission Hills seniors Ricky Liuchan (Oregon State), Fred Warner (BYU) and Nate Ostrom (Humboldt State) sign Letters of Intent.

"I'm sorting through offers. Just last week, five schools offered.

"Honestly, I'm a little surprised by all the attention."

Holiday, who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds and was timed in 4.12 in the shuttle, had nine interceptions on defense last season and caught 12 passes for 215 yards and five touchdowns on offense.

"He plays with a ton of confidence and swag," said Student Sports. "He plays wide-out on offense, where he’s got the type of game-breaking athleticism to be a threat whenever he gets the ball. He also has the size to dominate smaller corners that try to defend him.

"On defense, that size and aggressive style of play are used to jam wide outs at the line of scrimmage. When you watch Holiday’s tape you see quickness and closing speed for a big guy, which allows him to read quick routes by wide-outs. That size may entice defensive coordinators to utilize his talents at safety once he gets to college if he continues to add more muscle to his frame.

"He's technically sound, displays good feet, has excellent hips and a great feel for the cornerback position whether he’s playing man or in a zone scheme."

Rivals.com reported "USC's new coaching staff was after Holiday when they were at Washington. "Even though they're at a new school, their feelings on the four-star cornerback haven't changed."

Rivals also said, "Notre Dame's coaches checked out Holiday's highlight tape. Then they looked at his transcripts. Then the Irish offered."

"I'm trying to take this all in stride," Holiday said. "My coaches told me this was going to happen once the 2013 class signed.

"I talked with Fred Warner and he said to be patient, not to jump out and commit too early. He told me when I committed I should do it for me and not to make anyone else happy."

Right now, Holiday said he isn't sure what would make him happy.

He's intrigued by going to schools like Tennessee and Alabama, but wouldn't mind playing close to home.

"I'm thinking I might take official visits to some of the schools farther away to see what they're like," Holiday said. "I can take unofficial visits to the West Coast schools.

"Once the season gets closer, I'll start narrowing things down. For me to commit now, something would really have to jump out."


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