Sha-Ki Holines: Linebacker Decommits from UMass and Commits to Connecticut

Jon Hancock@@JonKYSportscoSenior Analyst IAugust 23, 2012

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Sha-ki Holines committed to the University of Massachusetts in June of this year. Tuesday, he announced that he is decommitting from UMass and will switch his commitment to the University of Connecticut.

Holines, a defensive end from High School of Commerce in Massachusetts, did not have an offer from UConn until after he committed to the Minutemen. He also had an offer from Maine and received some interest from Boston College.

Holines' football coach at Commerce told of the commitment switch:

He said that he prefers UConn right now. UConn was his No. 1 choice and at the time they didn't offer him. It was a hard decision, but he told me even back in sophomore year that he wanted to go to UConn.

The 6'4", 240-pound linebacker/defensive end was named the All-Western Massachusetts defensive most valuable player last year as a junior with 132 solo tackles, six sacks and four fumble recoveries. 

He also caught 25 receptions for 256 yards and three touchdowns as a tight end.

Rated as a 3-star recruit, Holines is considered the sixth-best player in his class from the state of Massachusetts, according to

ESPN says of the new UConn commit:

Holines is a productive tight end and linebacker. We feel his size and athleticism are best suited for the inside linebacker position at the next level of competition. His frame appears capable of supporting additional body mass over time however it is imperative that his quickness and playing speed improve.

Head coach Paul Pasqualoni, who is in his second year at UConn, and his coaching staff have already put together a strong class for 2013.

Holines will be their 15th commit for the class and the fifth defensive commit.

Pasqualoni has worked hard since coming from the Dallas Cowboys, where he was the defensive coordinator. UConn went 5-7 last year.

Oddly enough, the UConn Huskies will start their 2012 season off Thursday, Aug. 30 against UMass in East Hartford.