COVINGTON – That reunion of the Brothers Holloman has run into a slight delay.
The good news is L.J. Holloman will still be able to join his brother J.J. Holloman on the Georgia football team this year. The bad news is it won’t be until August as opposed to the first of June as reported earlier this week.
L.J., who plays wide receiver like his already-enrolled younger brother, found that out from UGA on Thursday. Previously, he’d been led to believe he would be able to enroll as a preferred walkon in June.
“I was disappointed it won’t be until the fall, but I was more thankful that everything worked out and I know I can go ahead and head up there,” L.J. said in an interview at his home in Newton County on Thursday. “It was a relief to know it’s all going to work out.”
L.J. is actually a year ahead of his younger brother — also known as Jeremiah — but ran into some academic snafus that bogged down his recruitment before graduating from Newton County High. He chose not to attend junior college or prep school on football scholarship. Instead he stayed home and took online classes.
Now a sophomore, he’ll enter UGA as a transfer student. His enrollment won’t start until fall semester. L.J. said he’ll come to Georgia with a 3.96 college grade-point average.
“When I first started off, I didn’t think I was talented enough and didn’t really get after (a college scholarship,” L.J. said. “I ended up doing a little junior college (at Middle Georgia College), then I saw what happened with my brother. Me and his talent is about the same, and I saw how much that he was getting looked at.
“I just didn’t have myself out there to get looked at. I didn’t have the exposure. So I went ahead and took care of what I had to do academically, got my credits right and now I’m going to transfer over.”
According to L.J.’s mother and his high school coach, the two brothers are practically one in the same physically. J.J., a consensus 4-star recruit who entered UGA as an early enrollee, is a little bit faster. But L.J. is generally considered a harder worker, and their frames are almost identical.
L.J. said he is has been following the Bulldogs’ workout plan at L.A. Fitness and Planet Fitness for the last several months. He said he is currently 6-foot-2, 203 pounds. J.J. is listed at 6-2, 195 on Georgia’s current roster.
“As far as a football player, he’s a hard worker and somewhat of a late-bloomer,” said Newton County head coach Terrance Banks, who coached both players. “I mean that in the sense of we’d heard of J.J. when he got here as a freshman, all the hype preceded him. L.J played for me and he was just one of those tough, hard-nosed kids. If he’d have graduated a year later, his role would’ve been different. He’d probably have been a D-1 prospect out of school.”
All four wideouts with the Rams L.J.’s senior year ended up signing Division I scholarships, including J.J., Deandre Huff (Miami-Ohio), Devonta Jones (UCF) and Atrice Hobbs (Army). As a reesult, L.J. played tight end mostly but also started on defense and special teams.
“I wouldn’t be surprised at all if a year from now L.J. is the special teams player of the year at Georgia,” Banks said.
Ms. Holloman believes the different fates for her two sons was mostly the result of understanding the recruiting game. With L.J., they didn’t sign him up for multiple prospect camps. They were late in getting him a highlight a video created and then didn’t run down all his best plays.
“He was our trial-and-error kid when it came to football; I can honestly say that,” Oneida Holloman said of L.J., their oldest son and one of her four children with Layfeatte Holloman Sr. “A lot of people ask me, ‘is J.J. just way better than L.J.?’ I tell them, ‘Actually no.’ If you look at them, they’re almost the same, and L.J. works very hard. …
“We didn’t know about all the camps we needed to go to. We pretty much thought as long as he’d play on the team he’d be OK (in recruiting). That wasn’t the case. With JJ, I learned; I got him involved with more (camps and recruiting). It opened the door way wide for him.”
Though he won’t be able to join the team until August, when the rest of the walkons report, L.J. said he plans to move to Athens this summer. NCAA rules won’t allow him to participate in summer workouts and conditioning with the Bulldogs, but he plans to mimic as much of their work as possible on his own and join in volunteer practices where he can.
“It’s something I want,” L.J. said. “It’s exciting. It’s something I’ve been working for for a long time, working hard for. I can’t wait to get there.”
You’ll be able to read more about the J.J. and L.J. Holloman in the Next Generation piece on the brothers that will run on DawgNation.com on Monday.