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May 24, 2013

Nick Holt is checking out Fresno State

Fresno State began a defensive renaissance in 2012 and they are hoping to add a few skilled craftsmen to assist them in creating a future masterpiece. Fortunately, help may be right around the corner and he happens to have been apprenticed by a skilled master.

The Bulldogs recently offered a scholarship to Nick Holt Jr., a 6-foot-1, 230-pound inside linebacker from City College of San Francisco.

Holt is the son of current Western Kentucky defensive coordinator Nick Holt. While the elder Holt's pedigree is well known among the college ranks, Nick is still in the process of carving his own path and the Bulldogs are hoping Holt's journey brings him to Central California. The good news is that Holt shares their enthusiasm for the Fresno State program.

"So far it's just Fresno State and Western [Kentucky]," Holt said of the offers he has received. "I've talked to Cal and Nevada and some other schools, but no offers from them yet. Same with Southern Illinois, who is a 1-AA [FCS] school, but I just came from 1-AA program and one of the main reasons I left was to come play on a bigger stage. So I kinda told them, 'thanks, but no thanks.'"

While Holt doesn't have a visit scheduled with the Bulldogs, it sounds like this is something that both parties would be interested in changing.

"I have not scheduled any visits," Holt said. "Fresno State, we had talked about getting me a visit there, as well as Western Kentucky, but I've not scheduled any official visits. That probably won't happen until the next couple of months. At least until I hear back from Fresno State.

"I've really just been mainly in contact with Nick Toth, the defense coordinator/linebacker's coach. We haven't talked the last couple weeks, but I think we'll start talking again as we get into the summer. I'm not really sure what the rules are and how much he can talk to me but we've talked a little bit."

Holt will be the first to tell you that his father plays an important role during the recruitment process, but it is paramount for him to carve his own legacy as a man and as a player.

"I want to be my own man and I strive to do that," Holt said. "Then again, how could you not take advantage of a very rare opportunity where your father is a Division 1 college football coach? I'd be crazy not to take advantage of at least his knowledge of not just the game but the whole recruiting process in general and the way a football program works.

"I've been very, very fortunate to have him through all this," Holt added. "That being said, I really want to become my own man, and not just have people say, 'Oh, yeah. That's Nick Holt's son.' I want to be my own 'Nick Holt.'"

Holt admits that his desire to be his own man will play a large role in determining where he chooses to play next.

"Yeah, it really has [affected the decision-making process], because, I mean, I do want to stay on the West Coast and either play at a Pac-12, WAC, or Mountain West program," he said. "I've lived on the West Coast my whole life & I like it out here.

"Really, I'm just trying to do my own thing. I played for my father one semester at the University of Washington and I absolutely loved it, but I think it's time for me to go on my own path."

The Bulldogs aren't the only ones doing their homework in this situation. Holt has taken note of the Fresno State program and he likes what he sees.

"I'm pretty familiar with them just because they've been such a great, big, strong program over the last decade or even longer than that," Holt said. "I mean, every year they have a great season and they dominate the conference and they're always in the top two or three in finishing in the WAC. They've always done a great job. I think it's kind of a well-known football powerhouse now."

Holt's praise of the Fresno State program didn't end there. His passion for the Central Valley that could give the Bulldogs an added edge in his recruitment.

"One thing that I absolutely love that they started doing, I think, a while ago was they have the 'V' on the back of the helmet for the Valley," Holt exclaimed. "Really, that's the only football program that represents it. It's a huge area of California & that's so true; their fan base I've heard is absolutely amazing. They've had games on ESPN all the time where they have a big time game at home & the crowd is just rocking. It looks like such a great & really unique college football atmosphere, which would be very exciting to play in."

The Bulldogs appear to be a strong contender for Holt's services and his blue-collar approach to the game go over well with program's philosophy and the Fresno community.

"I played a lot on special teams," Holt said of the skillset he offers the Bulldogs. "I don't know how many tackles I had exactly, but I had a forced fumble, a couple sacks, and an interception when I did get into the games."

The Bulldogs are hoping to get him in a few more of those games.

Stay tuned to FSBulldogs.com for more updates on the Fresno State 2014 recruiting class.

Josh Webb is a special contributor to FSBulldogs.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @BulldogsTwist.


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