UCF landed a big prize at quarterback on Tuesday when Georgia's Justin Holman picked the Knights over Arizona State, Marshall, Missouri, NC State, Wake Forest and others.
The Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson signal caller has yet to visit campus, but he didn't want to risk losing a spot because UCF likely will only sign one quarterback in the 2013 class.
UCFSports.com caught up with Holman to talk about his decision.
What was your thought process in making this commitment? Have you been thinking about committing to UCF these past couple weeks?
"Over the last couple months I've been thinking about committing there and getting it out of the way. I wanted to get it done before we started summer workouts with our team, so I can focus solely on working out with them. I didn't want to worry about the recruiting process anymore. The last couple weeks it's been weighing heavily on my mind. I've got a great chemistry with the quarterbacks coach, (offensive coordinator) (Charlie) Taaffe and my recruiting coach (Danny) Barrett. Those are two great guys and they really drew me into the program."
Are you planning to take a visit down to UCF in the near future?
"I plan to go down there sometime in late June with my family. I know it's a great campus and a great school. (Redshirt freshman offensive lineman) Tarik Cook has told me all about UCF. He graduated from Stephenson a couple years ago. One day he came back to the school and we were talking about the recruiting process and colleges. He didn't influence me to go anywhere. He was just saying to be smart about your decision because you're going to be there for the next four or possibly five years of your life. I asked him about UCF and he says he loves it. He said everything was great, the coaches, everything."
You talked a little about your great relationship with the coaches. What other things stood out to you about UCF?
"The direction of the program is up and coming. They've had flashes and streaks of wins, but UCF is a place I want to be to help build the program until we reach the top. The location is great. It's in Florida and you can't get any better than that. It's not too far away from my family so I'll still be close. One of the biggest things is that they're moving to the Big East in 2013. That's a big thing."
So I guess you called the coaches a little while ago to let them know? What was their reaction?
"It came as a surprise to them. They had no idea. They were definitely excited. I talked to the quarterback coach, Coach Taaffe, and Coach Barrett. I got to talk to Coach (George) O'Leary. He's a funny guy. Great personality. He seems like somebody I'd like to be close to for the next four years of my life."
In your conversations with UCF this spring, what did they say they liked about you as a quarterback?
"They said they liked my athleticism. Some schools would say they might want to move me to safety. UCF said they'd like to use my athleticism as a strength at quarterback. They have a history of catering the offense to the quarterback. I like where their offense is now. It's kind of like a spread with pro-style mixed in here and there. It's a diverse scheme. When they offered me they said they liked how I drive the ball. I have a strong arm. I liked what they had to say."
What do you think you do well at quarterback? What gives you an edge?
"I won't have to worry about height being that I'm 6-4. I'm a solid weight right now at 201 pounds. I've picked up some weight since the end of the season. I've been in the weight room hard. I take this game very seriously. I have a cerebral approach to the game. Before every game you'll see me in the film room studying as much film as possible. I want to know as much about the game as I can. One of my strengths is my arm strength. Footwork and vision will come with more time and more experience."
Had you settled on a finalists list before choosing UCF?
"The other schools involved were Marshall, Wake Forest and NC State. It really came down to those schools plus UCF. I just sat down and talked it over with my parents. Of course I prayed on it. UCF came to the forefront."
Is it a weight off your shoulders to know where you're going to college so you don't have to worry about it as a senior?
"Yeah, especially since I'm supposed to be graduating early this year. That's a big thing for me. By December I can have all my academic things squared away. I didn't want to drag out the process especially because this year a lot of quarterbacks are committing early. I didn't feel pressured though. But I did want to do it early."
Are you hoping to come down during the fall to see a home game or two?
"I definitely want to see a game. I want to see the environment during the summer too, but you don't know what the school is like until the fall with all the fans and student body there for game day."
Do you have a favorite quarterback? Is there perhaps someone you like to watch play or maybe model your game after?
"There are two. It's two contradicting people. Peyton Manning and Cam Newton. If you look at it, it's the same story but different paths. Great quarterbacks. Cam Newton still has more years to prove himself, but their work ethic and drive is what I can relate to. To come out of the Wing-T offense, a lot of people don't expect me to be able to throw. They expect me to be an athlete. This year they'll see that I have the ability to throw. I can't wait to showcase that with my teammates."
Have you thought about a potential major?
"I'm thinking of biology. A pre-med track. I'd like to become a doctor, like a radiologist or chiropractor."