Lincoln’s defensive tackle Thomas Holley verbally committed to Penn State a little over two weeks ago, but that commitment is already up in the air now that the Houston Texans have hired Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien.
This doesn’t mean Holley is going to immediately bolt. Instead, he’s in wait-and-see mode right now to see what happens to Penn State’s coaching staff — specifically defensive coach Larry Johnson, who was a big reason Holley committed there in the first place.
“Yeah, I haven’t really been stressing it too much, whatever happens, happens,” Holley told Nick De La Torre of GatorCountry.com. “Whether I talk to him or not, I can’t control if he’s going to stay or not. So I’m kind of just laying back, watching to wait and see what happens. I’m taking everything step by step.”
“If Coach Johnson is still there I’d probably stay, but you gotta see who they’re bringing in because things can change” Holley said. “There are a lot of factors going in to whether I stay or leave. When I get there I’ll sit down and talk with my family, get their thoughts and see where we go from there. You never know.”
So far it does indeed look like Johnson is sticking around in Penn State as they have named him the interim head coach. Lincoln head coach Shawn O’Connor recently told the NY Daily News that Johnson’s interim title is a good sign that Holley will stay there, but until everything is made official it is still up in the air.
Before Holley committed to Penn State, he had narrowed his choice down to Penn and Florida State. He admitted that if he did de-commit to Penn that Florida would immediately jump to the top of the list. That doesn’t mean that other teams aren’t seeing this as another chance to make their pitch though.
“Notre Dame, Florida, Ohio State, Alabama, Tennessee and now a lot of schools that were pursuing me before I went to Penn State now they’re coming at me harder,” Holley told Audrey Snyder of PennLive.com. “They’re asking me, ‘If O’Brien leaves would you consider coming here, coming there?’ ”
Holley didn’t return text messages from the Brooklyn Eagle for comment on this post so it seems like this situation is going to have to play itself out before we get a firm answer on what’s going to happen. It does look like Holley will stay put though.