Scouting Report Holcombe is the son of former Alabama player Danny Holcombe who played on the offensive line in Coah Paul "Bear" Bryant’s final years. He's a lanky linebacker but his frame will be able to fill out quite a bit in Alabama’s Strength and Conditioning program which could help develop him into a pretty special linebacker with size (6’4”, 210 lbs. already) and elite level speed.
BigEasyTider's Take Liked this signing for three reasons: (1) Holcombe is a lot more athletic than given credit for, so he has versatility, (2) he's a very physical player, despite a relative lack of size (though he has the frame to bulk up significantly), and (3) he's one of those guys who, as Bill Curry used to talk about, would gladly put on that crimson jersey and go out there and die for Alabama if we asked him to.
As far as comparisons go, the Sunseri comparison is decent in terms of physicality, but Sunseri was a good three inches shorter and thus a pretty different player. You also can't really compare him to Reamer -- though a lot of people want to -- because he's a lot more athletic than Reamer was even before the knee injury. The best comparison, believe it or not, might actually be C.J. Mosley, and although it's not realistic to expect Holcombe to become the kind of player that Mosley became, the overall plan is to use him in a similar role once he adds weight, and the build and athleticism of the two coming out of the prep ranks are fairly similar.
Big concerns here are two-fold: (1) He's a diabetic, which will have to be managed, and (2) as WMack noted, the big concern with the multi-dimensional types is that you become a jack of all trades and a master of none, such that you really don't have a defined role. That could possibly be the case for Holcombe, though I still expect that he would be able to become a strong special teams contributor.
runtheoption22's Take I would love to give this guy a 5* grade and most people who watch him play, his work ethic, and his character would as well. However, you don't give grades on those things. What he does possess in those areas, translates nicely to a kid who couldve easily been overlooked by major colleges. However, he is quick, intelligent, and versatile. He gives us a tremendous talent against spread teams and will likely play a safety or money position against those type of teams.
WMack4Bama's Take I won't lie to you. When he committed, I scratched my head. I'm in Tuscaloosa, and I'm all over the high school scene and had never heard of the kid. But then I went back to look at film on other kids in the area from other schools playing against Holcombe's team, and I wondered how I'd missed hiim before. As you can see in the video above, the kid can flat out LAY THE LUMBER. He's more than athletic enough to cover in space. Referencing the video above again, look how comfortable and how great he is covering in space vs. the spread. His coverage skills are excellent. He reminds me of a more physical Cory Reamer (we signed Reamer as a safety and he was moved to LB out of necessity). So in essence, Holcombe is a nice mixture of Reamer and Vinnie Sunseri.
That said, there's good news and bad news. The good news is that he can play any number of positions (Sam, Will, Safety). The bad news is also that he can play multiple positions. He can get lost in the shuffle being a jack of all trades and an ace of none. However, I think he has special teams animal written all over him for this season at the least. I think he will be a solid contributor for 4 years, and will do his family name proud.