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Howard picks Bethune-Cookman; Holcy revives career at Tarleton State

Posted on Friday, February 9, 2018 at 1:45 pm

By Ken Jackson
Sports Editor

St. Cloud High’s two college football signings Wednesday were a contrast in styles and stories.

For Levelle “L.J.” Howard, the moral of the story is: if you have talent, you will be found.

For Trevill Holcy, his story reads: if you want to use the talent you have, there will be a home for it.

The Bulldogs’ two signings couldn’t be more different.

Howard, an offensive tackle, spent his senior year at St. Cloud after starting his football career at Celebration.

News-Gazette Photo/Martin Maddock
Joined by Bulldogs Coach Bryan Smart (standing), Lavelle Howard (second from right) signs his scholarship to Bethune-Cookman joined by family: Evonie, Thomas and Leah Davidson.

The next stop is Daytona Beach, as he signed Wednesday to attend Bethune-Cookman University, a Football Championship Subdvision member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

It’s a school that Howard has dreamed about attending, he said.

“After I got my grades and test scores up, I started reaching out to coaches, after going to one of their camps the of (this past) summer they hit me up,” Howard. “It’s been one of my favorite school since I was a little kid.”

Howard said his only other offer came from a junior college near Los Angeles.

“Wrong coast. Too far,” he said, noting he can’t weight to get started on his college career this summer.

“The plan is to get ready for those college D-linemen,” he said. “I can’t wait to get into the weight room and get right.”

Bulldogs Coach Bryan Smart called Howard “A tremendous kid with a tremendous family.

“I wish I could have had him for one more year,” he said.

Holcy, who played receiver for St. Cloud from 2012-14 and caught 36 passes for 470 yards and three touchdowns, walked away from the game after his senior year after getting interest from Ole Miss and other Division I programs.

But after working in construction for two years, he realized he missed the game, and after attending a community college camp over the summer in Iowa, where he accumulated game film, he garnered interest, and then a scholarship, from Tarleton State, a Division II school in Stephenville, Texas.

Former Bulldogs receiver Trevill Holcy signs with Tarleton State on Wednesday, joined by cousin Tatiana Jackson, grandfather Freddie Holcy and girlfriend Taelor Borne.

“I had to live the real life for a little bit, but I realized I could do more and wanted more,” said Holcy, who plans to major in general business. “There are no more question marks in my life now. It’s exclamation points.”

At 21, he’ll report to the school with all four years of eligibility intact, and according to Tarleton’s athletic website, with his 6-6, 215-pound frame, “It wouldn’t surprise anyone if he got on campus and turned into one of the most athletic players on the field.”

“Working construction, I kept my speed up, my strength up,” he said. “I’m coming in as a receiver, and they talk like I’m one of the guys who can turn the program around, because they’re looking to move up (to FCS). I’m just trying to close my ears to all that.”

Hocly’s and Smart’s paths barely crossed, but long enough for Smart to appreciate it.

“Trevill’s somebody who never gave up on his dreams,” the coach said. “He’s been through it all, ups and downs, and now he’s got ups in front of him.”