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NFL Draft Prospect Preview - George Holani

by J.T. Toth


Photo courtesy of Bronco Nation News.


At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.


Today’s Spotlight - Boise State,  Running Back, George Holani


Name- George Holani

Pos- Running Back

Team- Boise State

HT/WT- 5’11” 210 lbs.

Born- N/A

Home – Bellflower, CA


George Holani attended St. John Bosco High School in his hometown of Bellflower, California. He was a four-star recruit according to ESPN and was rated No. 17 nationally at his position by 247Sports. He saw action early on as a sophomore running for 453 yards and 5 touchdowns. He started turning it on his junior year picking up 1,152 yards and 14 touchdowns en route to being named first-team All-Trinity League honors. He finished his high school career with another stellar season rushing for 1,172 yards and scoring 25 total touchdowns. With several offers on the table, Holani eventually decided to commit to Boise State.


As a freshman, Holani appeared in all 14 games, starting each of the final 7. He was voted Mountain West Freshman of the Year as well as the All-Mountain West Second Team.  He ran for 1,014 yards and 7 touchdowns, while adding 206 yards receiving and 3 more touchdowns.


Holani suffered a knee injury in 2020 and missed a chunk of the season for the Broncos. He started 2 of the 3 games in which he appeared and ran for 108 yards on 19 carries, scoring 3 touchdowns. He had trouble staying healthy in 2021 and was only able to play in 9 games, starting 7. He still led the team in rushing yards with 569 and scored 1 touchdown. Boise State used him in the passing game as well and he hauled in 14 passes for 169 yards on the season.


2022 was a healthy season for Holani and he was able to play a full schedule of games, the first since his freshman season. He led the Broncos in rushing yards with 1,157 yards and added 151 yards receiving on 24 receptions. On the season, he scored 13 touchdowns (10 rushing, 3 receiving) and was named to the All-Mountain West Second Team.


Holani got hurt in the season opener in 2023, and slowly battled his way back to the Boise State backfield. He finished the season starting 8 games and running for 748 yards, averaging 5.6 YPC. He scored 7 touchdowns and also hauled in 17 receptions for the Broncos. He announced at season’s end that he will be entering the NFL Draft and his time in Boise State was coming to an end. 


George Holani has a chance to be one of the best three-down backs coming out in this draft. He runs fluid routes and has reliable hands to bring the ball in. Once he catches the ball, he is a formidable force in the open field with his strength and vision. He has a good burst, hitting the holes before defenders have time to make contact. He is a patient running back who gives his lineman the time to set up and make blocks and or pull. When running he lowers his shoulder and more time than not falls forward to pick up the extra yard or two.


On the downside, Holani has been injury prone throughout his college career and has had several knee problems. He is undersized to be a featured back in the NFL and will most likely be used in a rotation or as a primary 3rd down back. He does not offer much wiggle or twitch and is a north-south running back. Though his patience is a positive, it can also be a negative. He does not look to cut back or stray from running lanes and leaves a bunch of yards on the field. Has a good burst but does not have the type of speed that will keep defenders in the NFL on their heels. He is nothing more than a chip and go blocker and won’t add much to pass blocking at the next level. 


George Holani’s versatility and ability to catch passes out of the backfield remind Draft Nation of Jerick McKinnon. McKinnon was a 4th round draft pick out of Georgia Southern in 2014 and has made a career out of being a 3rd down back. Draft Nation thinks that Holani will get more chances to carry the ball than McKinnon has, but his main use will be as a receiver out of the backfield. 


Strengths


  • Pass catching

  • Open field

  • Falls forward

  • 3-down back


Weaknesses


  • Speed

  • Shiftiness

  • Injury

  • Blocking


Final Analysis


George Holani does enough out of the backfield for a team to take a flier on him in the later rounds. He is a prospect who needs to show what he can do at the combine to help his draft stock.


Draft 412 Draft Projection -  Round 6 or Round 7

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