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  1. #1
    FB Moderator WMack4Bama's Avatar
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    ****2014 Crown Jewel Countdown: #20 - LB, Keith Holcombe****



    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.
    Last edited by runtheoption22; August 6th, 2014 at 06:44 PM.
    "I didn't come to Alabama to win 10 games a year and be a contender. I came here to win championships. Conference championships and national championships. I love it here because that's just not what I want, but what this fanbase expects."
    --Alabama Head Football Coach, Nick Saban

    “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on it’s ability to climb a tree, it will spend it’s whole life believing it is stupid.” — Albert Einstein

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  3. #2
    BamaNation All-American Relayer's Avatar
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    Re: ****2014 Crown Jewel Countdown: #20 - LB, Keith Holcombe****

    Thanks for your take on Holcombe, WMack4Bama. Would really like to see the other fella's comments, too.

    He is a very interesting prospect. I think we are really going to love watching him develop and play.

  4. #3
    News|BB|FB|Rec Moderator runtheoption22's Avatar
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    Re: ****2014 Crown Jewel Countdown: #20 - LB, Keith Holcombe****

    bump

  5. #4
    BamaNation All-American
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    Re: ****2014 Crown Jewel Countdown: #20 - LB, Keith Holcombe****

    I think I read that Holcombe has been working with inside 'backers. Probably in one of kyallies news links. It surprised me.

    Did anyone else catch that?

  6. #5
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    Re: ****2014 Crown Jewel Countdown: #20 - LB, Keith Holcombe****

    Quote Originally Posted by bama579 View Post
    I think I read that Holcombe has been working with inside 'backers. Probably in one of kyallies news links. It surprised me.

    Did anyone else catch that?
    You read correctly and, again, I don't think it's a major surprise. Holcombe is on the lean side right now, but he plays a far more physical game than his current weight indicates, and with the way that modern offenses have evolved, it's not like you need to be 235+ to play inside linebacker these days anyway.

    And again, he's not a short kid, either, which is key here, and which fundamentally distinguishes him from a guy like Vinnie Sunseri. With a 6'4 frame and Scott Cochran's S&C program, this is a kid who could very feasibly be up 6'4 and 230 in a couple of years and playing Will linebacker. That's just not a crazy notion by any stretch, and at that weight -- in the modern game -- it's plenty big enough to be a very effective ILB. Again, going back to the Mosley comparison in my evaluation above, Mosley played his last two years at around 235 pounds. And speaking of Reamer above, people forget that he finished his career at Alabama playing ILB, after Hightower went down against Arkansas.

    With all due respect to RTO and those of similar thinking, I just don't necessarily see him playing safety or money. I do think he'll be a player that we'll move around a lot and in use in a variety of ways, and he should be a particularly strong asset in passing game and against spread teams, but I just don't see him ultimately being used like a Sunseri or a Nick Perry or a Jarrick Williams.

  7. #6
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    Re: ****2014 Crown Jewel Countdown: #20 - LB, Keith Holcombe****

    I like that he is technically sound and will pick up the defensive philosophy quicker than most. Until he bulks up some, I don't see him contributing other than special teams this year. After a year or 2 of Cochran, he could be our best OLB depending on how much weight he can carry.

  8. #7
    FB Moderator WMack4Bama's Avatar
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    Thread Starter

    Re: ****2014 Crown Jewel Countdown: #20 - LB, Keith Holcombe****

    Updating as we go (I actually like doing the Crown Jewels in real time)...

    Bama LB Reggie Ragland agrees with us. He thinks Holcome is "going to be a stud."
    "I didn't come to Alabama to win 10 games a year and be a contender. I came here to win championships. Conference championships and national championships. I love it here because that's just not what I want, but what this fanbase expects."
    --Alabama Head Football Coach, Nick Saban

    “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on it’s ability to climb a tree, it will spend it’s whole life believing it is stupid.” — Albert Einstein

  9. #8
    BamaNation All-American sanjosecrimson's Avatar
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    Re: ****2014 Crown Jewel Countdown: #20 - LB, Keith Holcombe****

    Reggie Ragland had nothing but high praise for Keith Holcomb after Thursday's practice. He called him a stud and a guy to keep a close eye on.

  10. #9
    News|BB|FB|Rec Moderator runtheoption22's Avatar
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    Re: ****2014 Crown Jewel Countdown: #20 - LB, Keith Holcombe****

    Obviously, if he is working with ILB some, I may have to recant on the safety/money positions statement. However, the same premise exists- he is going to be effective against HUNH, spread teams.

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