The expectations are big at Madison (Ala.) Bob Jones High. That’s OK for 2014 linebacker Nick Holman, who is in the process of making the move from tight end to linebacker.
Holman, who attended Oklahoma’s three-day camp last week, is ready for the big expectations. But if he turns out to be as good as the linebacker he is replacing, the school will have yet another gem on its hands.
Holman is set to take the spot of Reggie Ragland. No pressure there, right? Ragland, who signed with Alabama, was ranked as the No. 2 inside linebacker for 2012 and ranked No. 109 in the ESPN 150.
“I know my son, and I know he’s going to give it everything he’s got,” said Mark Holman, Nick’s father. “He has the work ethic and the attitude for the challenge.”
That attitude kicked off in Norman, Okla., as the Holman family made their second visit to OU in as many months. They were at OU for the Red-White spring game in April.
Holman was initially invited to OU’s camp as a tight end. However, after a few reps at the spot, OU tight ends coach Bruce Kittle said Holman was better suited at linebacker.
And nobody was more fired up about the switch than OU linebackers coach Tim Kish.
“We really enjoyed working with and talking with Coach Kish,” Mark Holman said. “He really liked Nick’s footwork.”
Holman is 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds. A position move isn’t the only big change for Holman. He is also transferring to Madison Bob Jones from a much smaller school where he was an offensive tackle his first two seasons.
“We know his future is not at tackle. We think the ideal spot for him is linebacker and this should be a real good fit,” Mark Holman said.
It’s always been about Alabama for the Holman family, but they listened when the Sooners showed interest.
Following the camp, the Holman family has more interest in OU than it ever has before. They also realized linebacker is the spot for Nick.
“One of the biggest things he learned is the realization that linebacker is his future,” Mark Holman said. “He came out there and was dwarfed at tight end. But at linebacker, he looked real good and had some of the quickest feet of anybody out there.”
Holman has been receiving interest from Tulane, BYU, UCLA and Illinois, among others, and will attend camp at Vanderbilt this summer.
With a new school and a new position, he is hoping things will start to progress more on the recruiting trail. If it does, OU is in a good spot because of how much interest it has shown and how honest it has been.
“It’s Oklahoma; you listen when it’s Oklahoma,” Mark Holman said. “Coach Kish said he would stay in touch as did Coach Kittle. We know we have to get some game film out there, and then we’ll see what happens.”