The football odyssey of former Salpointe Catholic standout lineman Justin Holt will take him to Western New Mexico in 2019 as a junior.
Holt, son of former Arizona defensive lineman/linebacker Julius Holt, has been part of the Arizona Wildcats under Rich Rodriguez, Eastern Arizona College, Pima Community College and now Western New Mexico, an NCAA Divison II school.
Justin, a 6-2, 290-pound defensive tackle, did not play as a freshman at Arizona in 2015 and he was ultimately forced out of the program by team doctors because of concussion concerns. After going through a series of tests, he was allowed to play at EAC in 2017 and he decided to come closer to home and play for Pima in its final year of football this season.
Western New Mexico, which is located in Silver City, N.M., actively recruited Justin all season.
“According to the coaches, they believe he will be an immediate impact player,” the elder Holt communicated to me. “At least that’s the conversation they had with him and my wife when they visited last week.
“The coaches like his quickness, speed, football IQ and versatility because he can also play center. But they are bringing him strictly for defensive. It’s nice to know that (Pima) Coach (Jim) Monaco found a place for him and his high school coaches (including Salpointe coach Dennis Bene) also spoke well of him as well. This is his journey and his alone.”
In his Pima bio, Justin wrote the three words that best describe football are “Life, grind and passion.”
Justin is living out those words from his start at Arizona to where he is now, bound for another opportunity at Western New Mexico.
The Mustangs already have on their roster five former Southern Arizona standouts: Santa Rita quarterback Peyton Kendrick, Tucson High running back DeAndre Williams, Buena defensive lineman Jacob Valdez and tight end Khalil Ghardley, and Rincon/University offensive lineman Cameron Vega.