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May 29, 2012Call it Memorial Day momentum.
In the span of less than 24 hours, UCF added two big recruiting targets to their 2013 class. On Monday night, cornerback D.J. Killings of Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast called coaches to make his pledge and quarterback Justin Holman of Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson followed suit on Tuesday.
Both are highly-recruited prospects in areas of need.
Killings (5-11, 182) entered spring practice as somewhat of a sleeper prospect because he was forced to sit out his junior season due to transfer rules, but offers started piling in once college coaches saw him in action. FIU, Kentucky, Marshall, Minnesota, South Florida, Vanderbilt and West Virginia had also offered with schools like Auburn, Florida State and Georgia strongly evaluating him.
Killings says he really appreciated the personal attention from his future position coach, Kirk Callahan.
"I realized how much UCF was interested when Coach Callahan, the DB coach, took the time to come up and see me," Killings said. "He came to the school for a second time to see what Coach Sean Beckton (his recruiter) was talking about. He came in and saw me workout in practice. He said after that day that I had an offer. He wrote me on Facebook and told me he would love to get me on campus. He built a relationship and I felt I could talk to him about anything, not just as a coach but like a big brother."
His friendship with several current Knights also played a role.
"I know a few players at UCF like Terrance Plummer, Jared Henry and Rannell Hall," Killings said. "Last year was their freshman year. They told me about how much of a family it was at UCF and how good the environment is there. They just kept talking to me about how good a school UCF is."
UCF has found their quarterback of the future in Holman (6-4, 202) who is rising up the charts as one of the top prospects in the Peach State.
The Stephenson signal caller had attracted offers from Arizona State, Marshall, Missouri, NC State and Wake Forest in recent weeks.
The December graduate says he had a great relationship with his recruiter Danny Barrett as well as offensive coordinator Charlie Taaffe.
"The direction of the program is up and coming," Holman said. "They've had flashes and streaks of wins, but UCF is a place I want to be to help build the program until we reach the top. The location is great. It's in Florida and you can't get any better than that. It's not too far away from my family so I'll still be close. One of the biggest things is that they're moving to the Big East in 2013. That's a big thing."
Like Killings, Holman says he listened to the advice of former teammate who now plays at UCF.
"(Redshirt freshman offensive lineman) Tarik Cook has told me all about UCF," Holman said. "One day he came back to the school and we were talking about the recruiting process and colleges. He didn't influence me to go anywhere. He was just saying to be smart about your decision because you're going to be there for the next four or possibly five years of your life. I asked him about UCF and he says he loves it. He said everything was great, the coaches, everything."
Killings and Holman join a 2013 recruiting class that also includes running back Micah Reed, athlete Myles Willis and offensive lineman Tate Hernly.
Stay tuned to UCFSports.com for lengthier interviews with both Killings and Holman.
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