Austin Holt the 6-foot-5.5, 235-pound four-star tight end from Bingham High School in South Jordan, Utah, has been committed to BYU since Feb. 13, but that didn't stop him from taking an official visit to Stanford on Nov. 23.
"I committed to BYU before Stanford got coach Jim Harbaugh," he said. "I was originally being recruited by Walt Harris and when they hired coach Harbaugh he started recruiting me too. Coach Harbaugh is a players' coach and I really think he's there for the kids. His heart is really in it and is basically a replica of my high school coach. I think he'll definitely turn it around. They had some nail biters this year and have shown a lot of improvement. I really just wanted to out there and get a taste of what it's like.
"The visit was really cool," he said. "The coaches were great and I had a lot of fun on game day. They really treat their players well there and it was a big weekend because they were playing Notre Dame. I also really liked the campus and my host was a Utah guy (sophomore free safety Bo McNally), so we had a good time."
Holt, ranked the No. 4 tight end in the country by Scout.com, has an official visit scheduled to BYU on Jan. 12 and says that if he takes any other trips it'll be before that date. "I really want BYU to be my last visit," he said. "I'm still definitely committed there. It's pretty solid. I can't really give a number, but I'm happy with my decision.
"BYU was the first school to start recruiting me and they just did everything right. We have a great relationship with all the coaches already and it's only about 30 miles away so my family will be able to see me play. That's really a big reason why I chose."
He says the other schools he's considering visiting are UCLA and Florida. "UCLA offered me after I was already committed and just getting any offer from them is really cool," he said. "I love the location. Westwood is a great area. You've got Los Angeles right there, the beach…it's just a beautiful place.
"It's been a crazy year and UCLA has had a tough time too," he said. "I really feel for the coaches. I really think they have a good coaching staff and that the tide just didn't turn their way this year. Obviously I've got to think about the coaching situation though. It kind of reminds me of what happened to Stanford last year with coach Harris."
Holt has offers from the Bruins and the Gators as well as Utah, Wisconsin, Washington and Oregon. "Before recruiting started I made a list of schools I wanted to get offers from and I got them all," he said.
Bingham lost in the semifinals of the state playoffs to finish the year 11-2. Holt had 30 catches for around 500 yards and six touchdowns. "I can catch and block pretty well," he said. "I blocked a lot this season and I'm good in the slot too. I'm very versatile and catch the ball well in open space.
"I really just want to work on my speed," he said. "That's the big thing for me. I'm focusing on getting my forty time down (claims a 4.9) and am even working with a trainer."
Holt reports a 3.9 core GPA and a 21 ACT.