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Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Deon Hollins Jr. is Pac 12 bound

By Bob Przybylo

There wasn’t a shortage of offers for outside linebacker Deon Hollins Jr. of Fort Bend (Texas) Marshall), so Hollins could take his time to make a decision.

Hollins Jr., an ESPNU Watch List member, started evaluating schools and was trying to determine which school was the best fit for him. On Tuesday night, he had his answer.

Hollins Jr. verbally committed to UCLA, confirmed his father Deon Hollins Sr. Hollins Jr. had close to 30 offers.

“What it comes down to is my son is a very driven young man,” Hollins Sr. said. “What he started looking for was what scheme would work best for him. And with UCLA and Coach [Jim] Mora and the three-four system, he thought that was the best fit for him.”

Hollins Jr., who is 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, is among the most versatile defensive recruits in the Lone Star State. It actually made the process a little bit tougher as some teams were looking at him as a defensive end, while others saw him as an outside linebacker.

Hollins Jr. has not seen the UCLA campus yet, but his father said they plan to take a visit in April.

“When Coach Mora first took the job, the interest started,” Hollins Sr. said. “Mora had his choices and could have went other places, but he chose UCLA so he must be excited about what is there.”

Even though some teams did offer him at end, it was the system that mattered most. Hollins Jr. is known for his ability to rush the quarterback, and he was looking for a standard three-four system instead of a four-three set.

Hollins Jr. wasn’t against playing outside linebacker, but he wanted to be able to utilize his skills in the best way possible. Hollins Sr. said his son would not have been a normal outside linebacker because his skill set is different.

“Again, it was just about fit,” Hollins Sr. said. “At the beginning of the process, I sat down with him and asked him what he felt was important. He needed to feel comfortable and fit in with the system. We feel very confident about things at UCLA.”

Some of Hollins Jr.’s other favorites included Washington, Oklahoma and Texas A&M, among others.