Rosewood's Rains signs NLI with Catawba
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 5, 2008 1:50 PM
Holt Rains was in a Catch 22.
The Rosewood High senior took a day trip to Wingate University, talked with the football coaches and felt content when he left the campus.
Then Catawba came calling. Again, Rains and his family embarked on another day trip, toured the facilities and spoke with coaches. Rains also participated in a workout session.
His brain worked overtime on the ride home.
"I was caught between two really good options," said Rains. "Me and my family talked about it for a long time. It was a hard decision ... tough."
Until the phone rang.
"The day after my workout, they called and put a scholarship on the table," said Rains.
Rains signed a national letter-of-intent with the perennial Division II power late last week. The versatile 6-foot-5, 225-pounder also pondered attending Elon, North Carolina State and three-time FCS national champion Appalachian State.
"Catawba seemed like a good fit," said Rains.
The Indians won the South Atlantic Conference championship last season and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs. Catawba logged an 11-2 record and earned a No. 12 ranking in the final AFCA poll of the season.
Rains is one of 18 players to sign with the Indians.
"They needed a tight end, saw my film and liked what they saw," said Rains. "They talked to me about playing my first year and not being red-shirted. That was a big factor in my decision, too. They said they could work with me and develop me into a really good tight end."
Rains played defensive end and tight end, and earned All-Carolina Conference accolades for the Eagles this past fall. A three-year varsity starter, he helped Rosewood compile nine wins and make three appearances in the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs during his career.
The small-school atmosphere, says Rains, reminds him of Rosewood and should help him adapt more easily. He realizes he must maintain a high work ethic and add a few pounds to withstand the physical nature of college football.
"Nothing has ever come easy to me because I'm not the most-talented person," said Rains. "I've worked hard for everything I've gotten and to where I am now. I think tight end is a better fit for me at the college level.
"As long as I work out hard and listen to what the coaches tell me, I know they'll send me in the right direction."
Rains is undecided on a degree, but has aspirations of coaching.
Regardless of how his career unfolds on the collegiate scene, he's confident about his choice.
"Who knows if it was the right one," said Rains. "But, it feels right to me."
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