Midway through the third quarter in Friday’s playoff loss to top-ranked Mill Creek, J.J. Holloman had that look on his face that many senior athletes get when they realize their season and high school career is coming to an end.
Newton’s 41-0 loss to Mill Creek was similar to its 34-0 loss to Grayson and its 42-0 loss to Archer in that it wasn’t necessarily about what the defense did, but what the offense couldn’t manage to do.
In most of those games — but moreover in the Mill Creek matchup — the vertical passing game was almost non-existent. And you could imagine how that might frustrate a 6-foot-3, 200 pound, four-star wide receiver who holds close to 50 Division I scholarship offers.
No doubt, Holloman would love to have another Friday night outing with his football brethren, but now that the season is over, Holloman said there’s nothing holding him back from setting his sights on the future.
“I mean, losing (Friday), it’s a bittersweet moment, but now I get a chance to focus on what I’m going to do for my future and making a decision,” Holloman said. “I’m going to be making the best decision of my life.”
Most recruiting prognosticators expect that decision to be Georgia. Although Holloman didn’t provide an official top five list for schools he’s considering, most seem to believe the Bulldogs are at the top of a short list that includes Tennessee, Miami and Auburn.
But Holloman is still taking official visits, including one this weekend to Nebraska. And the way he talked about it, he’s not ready to write off the opportunity of venturing out far from his native Georgia.
“I’ve been talking with (Nebraska wide receivers) coach (Keith) Williams a lot, and I’m seeing the talent there and seeing what he’s able to do with receivers,” he said. “It’s pretty amazing. And I know the talent and capability I have, and if I went up there to work with him, it could really become something crazy.”
Holloman noted that he may still take visits to schools such as Auburn and Miami, “though I’m not really sure yet or when,” and he didn’t seem bothered by the fact that first-year Miami coach Mark Richt offered him since making the move from Georgia, but didn’t do so while at Georgia.
“Things happen when they’re supposed to happen,” Holloman said. “I don’t have any bad feelings about it. The offers come when they’re supposed to come.”
He said he’s looking to make his decision on December 16. And while Georgia may be the favorite now, he insisted that it isn’t just because the Dawgs are close to home.
“Oh no, not at all,” Holloman said when asked if he was concerned about leaving home. “I’ve got a real supportive family. Wherever I go, I’m sure they’ll find a way there.”