Florida in line for dismissed USC recruit?
Highly-touted Southern Cal receiver Jamere Holland, a member of the Trojan's No. 1 2006 recruiting class, has been dismissed from the team and is reportedly looking at Florida as one of the schools he may transfer to.
According to a story in the L.A. Times, Holland, a state 100 and 200-meter champion at Woodland Hills Taft, was coached in high school by Troy Starr who is now the director of football operations at Florida. USC coach Pete Carroll said representatives of some schools are potentially making illegal contact with USC's players.
Here is the full story by Gary Klein:
USC became the destination of choice for many top recruits during the last five years, but it recently has turned into a high-profile point of departure.
Running back Emmanuel Moody and receiver Jamere Holland, both members of the touted recruiting class of 2006, are no longer on the team.
Moody, the Trojans' second-leading rusher last season, decided last week to transfer in search of a more featured role. He said Monday that he would first visit North Carolina, then Florida, Texas and Oklahoma State. According to Moody and others, Holland also was considering transferring before Coach Pete Carroll dismissed him from the team on Sunday night.
Moody, who was on campus Monday, said of Holland: "He heard I transferred, and he came up to me and was like, 'I'm thinking about transferring.' I was surprised. I thought he was happy.
"He couldn't tell me why. I think it was something deep he couldn't really tell me."
Holland, who played at Woodland Hills Taft High, could not be reached for comment.
Carroll has not said why Holland was released. The coach said late Sunday night that Holland, who also competed for the track team last spring, was not dismissed because of a violation of team rules and that he would remain on scholarship.
"He didn't disagree, really he understood," Carroll said after practice Monday. "I'm not sure what he's going to do right now, but I know he's looking to find another place to go to school. We'll try to help him through that process."
Teammates and others close to the program said Holland had trouble grasping the commitment necessary to participate in a program as demanding as USC's.
Holland, the California state 100- and 200-meter champion in 2005, broke his collarbone during training camp last year and redshirted. Several times during the 2006 season, former receivers coach Lane Kiffin counseled Holland on the field after practice about punctuality and commitment to workouts and rehabilitation.
"I talked to him before, but he's going to do what he wants to do," junior receiver Patrick Turner said. "All I could do is tell him what I know and what was best. After that, you either have to run with it or do what you want to do."
Holland reinjured his collarbone during spring practice and was sidelined again last week after he suffered a concussion.
Teammates indicated that Holland seemed distracted from the start of camp.
"You could tell he just wasn't himself," sophomore receiver Vidal Hazelton said.
Carroll said attrition was a natural byproduct of any organization.
"What our guys undertake in this program is most challenging and most difficult," he said Monday morning. "It's an extremely competitive school environment and for sure it is on the football field. The expectations and standards we live by and such is not for everybody. We understand that."
Later, Carroll said representatives of other schools were contacting his players in "subtle and just kind of secondary fashion." Carroll added, "In a competitive sense, I understand why guys would eyeball our roster and look for guys here and there. We have a terrific football team, but the other side of it is it's illegal."
Troy Starr, Holland's high school coach at Taft, said he spoke to the receiver after his dismissal by Carroll.
Starr, now the director of football operations at Florida, said Holland lived in his home during high school, that he was very close to Holland's family and that he has remained in contact with the player and had encouraged him to remain at USC.
Asked if Holland was considering transferring to Florida, Starr said, "I think there are numerous schools he's going to look at."