Florida Gators defensive tackle Thomas Holley will take a medical redshirt and miss his freshman year. On Monday, Will Muschamp addressed the media, and explained that Holley requires surgery to repair a sports hernia dating back to the lineman’s high school days.
”He had a sports hernia in high school. Had it repaired before he came here,” Muschamp said. ”That’s where we thought his discomfort was. On the initial physical, we found a labral tear on his hip and impingement on his hip.
”He just had some discomfort in running and changing direction. Our medical people did an outstanding job of finding it. I’m disappointed for Thomas, a guy who certainly athletically we’re very excited about.”
According to Muschamp, the team noticed Holley’s labral tear during pre-physicals and decided to see if he could play through it. Ultimately there was too much discomfort, and all parties involved decided it best to proceed with surgery. There is typically a four-month window of recovery for such a procedure.
“Originally when he came in for the pre-physical he’d had the sports hernia repaired and that’s where he thought his pain was coming from. And then on the pre-physical we saw this. We wanted to see how far we could take it but we knew eventually there was probably going to be a surgery involved. He just had a lot of discomfort involved, so we just decided to go ahead and do it.”
Holley is viewed as a player with considerable upside for the Gators. He was originally a basketball player when recruited by Muschamp, who, during the the recruitment process offered the following evaluation:
“I like guys like him because, again, he’s just going to continue to get better and better,” Muschamp said. “The more times he sees blocking schemes, he reacts to those. He’s going to continue to improve, continue to get better as opposed to maybe some players that have been playing their whole life, they’ve been in a weight program since the seventh grade and now you’re going to get him to college, how much better is that guy going to get?
“They’ve kind of plateaued. They’re not going to get a whole lot better, and some players you have to be careful about where they are. Their genetic ceiling is kind of maxed right now. (Holley) is nowhere near his.”
Entering college, the four-star recruit out of Brooklyn, NY ranked as the nation’s No. 4 defensive tackle according to 247Sports Composite. Originally a Penn State commitment, Holley flipped to Florida following Bill O’Brien’s departure to the NFL.