Briar Woods senior wide receiver Melvin Holland, Jr. has skyrocketed up college recruiting boards after the Falcons’ most recent postseason run. In five postseason games he hauled in 31 receptions for 542 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.
His 15 touchdown receptions this season were one shy of area-leader and first-team All-Met Javonn Curry of Paint Branch.
In the state championship game against L.C. Bird, Holland, Jr. had the best offensive game of his career. He caught five passes for 199 yards and three touchdowns, including a beauty of a pitch and catch from Trace McSorley for a 73-yard touchdown (see below).
“The last five weeks he has stepped his game up to a higher level,” Briar Woods Coach Charlie Pierce said. “He had to wait his turn to see time at receiver but he grabbed it by the horns when he got it.”
Less than 24 hours after the Falcons Virginia 5A final loss 35-28, Holland hopped on the road with his father for an unofficial visit to Rutgers University.
Rutgers stopped by Ashburn several days prior to the state championship and immediately had an affinity for the 6-foot-3, 190-pound wide receiver.
The Scarlet Knights offered him a scholarship Sunday adding to a list of offers that includes Minnesota, Boston College, Navy, Toledo, UNC-Charlotte and Liberty.
“It was pretty good,” Holland said of his Sunday unofficial visit to the Piscataway, N.J. campus. “I liked it more than I thought I would. I liked the space, they have several different sections of campus. I thought it would be in the city and clumped together, but it was spaced out. The football stadium was pretty nice.”
Since his state championship performance Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech have also shown interest in Holland.
“A couple of coaches said they liked how I have improved my route running,” Holland said. “I’ve also gotten the ball more which helps and they feel like my size and speed is a good combo.”
He will take his first official visit Jan. 17 to the University of Minnesota and he’s looking forward to watching the Golden Gophers in the Texas Bowl against Syracuse Dec. 27 at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
“Minnesota is a great place and has a lot of great facilities that they’ve done improvements on,” Holland said. “They’re building the program and it’s in Top 25 football land.”
Minnesota is losing its top receiver to graduation but the Golden Gophers’ top two returning receptions leaders are both freshmen, which makes a move to the Big Ten more appealing for the durable wide receiver.
Holland can take four more officials after his Minnesota trip, and said he won’t decide on a school until late January.