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Northwestern football 2017 National Signing Day profiles: Wide receiver Berkeley Holman

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Holman has a great name and great explosiveness.

Photo Credit: Student Sports Flickr

Quick Hits

POSITION: Wide receiver

HEIGHT: 6-foot-0

WEIGHT: 185

HOMETOWN: Bellflower, CA

HIGH SCHOOL: St. John Bosco

247 COMPOSITE SCORE: .8438

NATIONAL RANKING: 983

POSITION RANK: 140

STATE RANK: 90

OTHER OFFERS: Boston College, California, Columbia, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon State, UPenn, UNLV, Utah

MORE: 247 profile | Hudl | Twitter

Background

After catching a total of just 38 passes in his sophomore and junior seasons, Holman exploded in his final year, garnering over 1100 yards and 12 scores as a receiver. But, he was also useful in special teams, returning both kickoffs and punts for St. John Bosco, the same school UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen used to play for.

As you can see in his highlight tape, Holman’s draw is his straight-line speed, which is why he was so versatile in high school. He played mostly out of the slot but wasn’t much of a possession receiver, instead using his initial burst off the line of scrimmage to break through the first line of the defense. That resulted in a bunch of huge scoring plays, often off simple slant route or screens.

Standing at 6’0”, Holman isn’t too big but as an offensive jack-of-all-trades, he doesn’t have to be. That play-making ability is the big draw and that transfers to almost any position he lines up at.

Outlook

Holman probably won’t get too many cracks at returning as a freshman with Solomon Vault and Flynn Nagel ahead of him on the depth chart, but wide receiver — considering the graduations of Austin Carr and Andrew Scanlan — is wide open. Nagel, Ben Skowronek and Macan Wilson all played a lot last season and should continue to get a lot of looks, but after those three are a bunch of question marks.

Skowronek was on the field a bunch as a true freshman so there is a least some precedent for Holman. What works in his favor is that his skillset is a unique one for the receiving core, which doesn’t have guys that work the slot. It wouldn’t be surprising if he’s used as much in 2017 as Skowronek was in 2016.