ATHENS, Ga. — For those watching in the stands at Missouri’s Faurot Field and Memorial Stadium Saturday, or for the ones who caught it on their screens at home, Jeremiah Holloman’s spinning, tight-roping 61-yard touchdown catch may have seemed like an otherworldly feat of a topnotch athlete.
But for Holloman, it was just another day at the office.
Holloman snagged headlines for making an acrobatic, over-the-shoulder catch from Jake From, then spinning from the Missouri defender and managing to stay inbounds en route to a score that, for all intents and purposes, seemed to put a dagger in the Tigers’ upset hopes.
And while onlookers raved, he referred to the play as something much simpler.
“It’s just like some of the routine catches we work on in practice,” Holloman said. “It’s a simple back shoulder throw. If the DB is on top of me like he was, I look for the ball after I’ve run for so many yards. So on that play, I ran out about nine yards and turned to look for the ball. I peeped around and saw the ball floating to my shoulder, turned and caught it. Put one leg down to spin around and just broke to the end zone.”
After officials, and the Missouri crowd had a chance to consult the instant replay, however, it was almost a play that went for naught. The play went under review to see if Holloman may have released the football before crossing the goal line, reminiscent of what DeAndre Baker did in the South Carolina game.
Baker was saved by one of his teammates who pounced on the ball behind him. Holloman wouldn’t have been as fortunate, had the call gone the other way.
But it didn’t. And Holloman was just glad it turned out the way it did.
“I just thought I was a few more yards into the end zone than what I was,” he said. “It’s just something I have to be more careful about in the future.”
The touchdown catch was Holloman’s second in score in as many games, seemingly signaling his emergence as a big-play threat in the Dawgs’ passing game. And it’s that fact — and the notion of continuing to work on his game — that has gotten most of his attention after Saturday’s performance.
“I tell myself after everything I do, hit reset,” Holloman said. “If I make a good block, hit reset. If I make a good catch, hit reset. It’s just my way of making sure I’m never too high in the moment that I won’t be able to seize the next moment. I remember how it feels to not be included like I am now, so I want to do everything I can to stay humble and keep succeeding.”
Holloman’s success seemingly came out of nowhere, dating back to the summer before his senior season at Newton High. Holloman recalled how he started off that year without a lot of offers, and then quite suddenly became a four-star wide receiver prospect while getting strong overtures from the likes of Miami, Auburn, Nebraska and Notre Dame before committing to UGA and enrolling early.
Now, even has Holloman has his own success, the Newton High grad also keeps an eye on others from his high school alma mater who are achieving on the Division I and Power Five level.
“When I see all these guys from Newton High doing their thing on this level, it makes me feel great,” Holloman said. “Once upon a time, an analyst said that he would never come back to Newton because all we do is play backyard football. But now you’ve got guys from there who are becoming household names. It goes to show that it doesn’t matter where you’re at, if you have the right mentality, you can make things happen for yourself.”
Holloman can also say the same thing for talent in Newton County but not from Newton High, and he doesn’t have to look far for an example.
Once his cross-town rival at Eastside, Holloman said he salutes Georgia corner Eric Stokes for his recent uptick in play. Stokes also found the end zone in Saturday’s win at Missouri, scoring a touchdown on a blocked punt.
Holloman said he beams with pride, seeing players from a small town like Covington doing big things.
“It’s great just knowing somebody from Covington is right here doing the same thing with me,” he said. “A lot of people don’t know that there are some athletes in Covington. So when guys like me and Eric can come out here and show all the hard work we put in, people from Covington can see that it works.”
So now that the 6-foot-2, 200-pound receiver is starting to accumulate a little notoriety, some may wonder how he’ll handle it all. Holloman, however, says you don’t have to wonder.
“You know, at first not having all the offers, it really got to me, but basically all it was when they started coming was people giving me a chance,” he said. “That’s how I feel being here. I feel like Georgia gave me a chance, and I don’t want to disappoint anybody. That’s why I’m going to continue doing the things I need to do to separate myself mentally from everyone else, because on this level everybody’s good physically.
“I want to pay attention to the details so I can stay a step ahead and make sure I don’t disappoint those who felt I was capable of doing what I’m doing.”