Remember the upbeat young Miami defensive tackle caught on camera dancing during games — in particular during the November 2019 outing against the FIU Panthers, who embarrassed the Hurricanes 30-24 at Marlins Park?
His name is Jalar Holley, and he has entered the NCAA transfer portal.
Holley, a consensus three-star prospect in the recruiting class of 2019, will be a repeat redshirt freshman in 2021 because the NCAA gave all players an extra year of eligibility. He played in seven games last season and finished with six tackles. He is listed on the UM roster as 6-2 and 282 pounds and is from Queens, New York.
The Hurricanes will have a solid rotation of defensive tackles this season, including Nesta Silvera, Jonathan Ford, Jordan Miller and Jared Harrison-Hunte. The Canes also have five-star defensive tackle Leonard Taylor, an incoming freshman.
Interestingly enough, Holley played for current UM defensive line coach/former Atlanta Falcons assistant Jess Simpson at Buford High in Georgia, where he helped lead Buford to the Georgia Class 5A regional final.
Before last season, former UM defensive line coach/current senior football advisor Todd Stroud said “Jalar has a definite advantage because he got coached like a college player. Fundamentally he’s a very sound kid, plays hard, twitches very fast. He’s relentless in the weight room. We have to get him reps.’’
If he finds a new school, Holley will not have to sit out a season because the NCAA is allowing a one-time exception to the usual rule. But if he doesn’t find a new school, the Canes are under no obligation to keep him on scholarship.
As for the dancing against FIU, Holley’s teammates defended Holley from fans who were livid at seeing him seemingly having fun during what most deemed as an unforgivable loss.
“He was trying to get energy going on the sideline,’’ former defensive tackle Pat Bethel said after the FIU game. “You got a six-second clip online and people are judging a lot of things off that. Jalar’s one of the guys that understood that he may not play a lot, but is very good at keeping energy flowing on the sideline.’’
UM picked third in ACC
No surprises here.
The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Monday that Clemson “is an overwhelming favorite to claim its seventh consecutive Atlantic Coast Confernce football title.’’
Clemson was picked in a preseason poll of 147 media voters.
The Hurricanes were picked to finish third overall in the ACC behind Clemson and North Carolina, and second in the Coastal Division behind North Carolina.
Three voters chose Miami to win the ACC championship.
UM, which finished 8-3 in 2020, begins fall camp Aug. 6 and plays its first game Sept. 4 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta against defending champion Alabama.
▪ Canes safety Bubba Bolden was selected to the Thorpe Award preseason watch list Monday. Bolden was a semifinalist last year after leading Miami with a team-high 74 tackles. He is also a preseason candidate for the Chuck Bednarik Award that goes to the nation’s top defensive player.