One of the biggest names in Brooklyn’s high school football scene this year is Lincoln High School’s Thomas Holley, who played basketball at Christ the King in Queens for two years before transferring to the Coney Island school with an idea that he might play football.
Joe Kozlowski of TDDaily.com has the story of his unlikely transition from a power forward to a four-star recruit who has offers from Notre Dame and Alabama:
Growing up, Holley had no intentions of playing football; his height had him pegged for another sport. “Basketball was my life,” he recalls. “Everything I did was just basketball, basketball, basketball. That was my bread and butter. Everyone was in my ear about football, but I was like ‘No, I’m a basketball player.’”
He played basketball at Christ the King High School in Queens during his freshman and sophomore years. While he thrived as a power forward and center, he began to realize that his size wasn’t the asset it once was. “During my freshman year, I really stopped growing,” says Holley. “Everyone’s still growing, they’re 6-8, 6-9 and you know there’s not many 6-4 power forwards. So I had to try something different.”
That something was football. At the start of the 2012 school year, Holley transferred to Lincoln, aiming to be a two-sport athlete. The football staff was ready for him.
Because he hasn’t played football that long, he is still something of a raw product. That hasn’t stopped teams from being interested in him though. In addition to offers from Alabama and Notre Dame, he also has offers from Clemson, Mississippi, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, USC, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Ohio State, Penn State, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Rutgers. 25 in total.
What makes him so valuable is that he’s a big guy, 6-foot-4, 300-pounds, and he’s athletic. When you see the way he moves, for his size, it’s pretty incredible. After just one season playing at Lincoln, he has already been selected to play in the All-American game.
Be sure to check out Kozlowski’s article for the full story. Holley and Lincoln open up their season on Sept. 7 against Curtis in Staten Island.