Learn Your Lions: Jonathan Holland

By Matthew Filipovits on June 12, 2017 at 8:00 am
Apr 16, 2016; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions tight end Jonathan Holland (18) during a warmup prior to the Blue White spring game at Beaver Stadium. The Blue team defeated the White team 37-0. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports


Mike Gesicki carried the load at tight end last season, resulting in the best statistical season seen at the position in school history. If anything were to happen to the big tight end, Jon Holland is the next man up.

Jonathan Holland was given the option of playing defensive end or tight end when he joined the Nittany Lions in 2015. He ended up choosing to play on the offensive side of the ball, a choice that surprised many. 

The JON HOLLand File

  • Class: RS Sophomore
  • Size: 6-4/245
  • Pos: TE
  • Hometown: Brandywine, MD
  • 247 Ranking: ★★★
  • National Ranking: 539

Holland was highly recruited out of high school, as he was one of the top players in the state of Maryland. He held offers from Clemson, Georgia, Florida State, and others but ended up committing to Penn State.

Holland redshirted in 2015 and played sparingly in 2016. He appeared in 12 games, almost exclusively on special teams. He impressed in this years Blue-White game, going for 62 yards on a team best eight catches. 


Joe Moorhead likes to get as many people involved as possible. Surprisingly, Mike Gesicki was the only tight end to catch a pass last season. The last time only one tight end recorded a catch in a season for Penn State was Kyle Brady in 1993. For reference, in 1993 "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston was the Billboard Song of the Year, Jurassic Park had just been released, and the author of this article was not even born yet. Mike Gesicki showed he is more than capable of being an every down player but with graduation looming for the big senior, Jon Holland should step up and show he can be the full time guy in 2018.


Jon Holland should see an increase in playing time offensively and continue to contribute on special teams. There's no chance Holland takes Gesicki's spot but he has a good shot to win the backup job over Tom Pancoast, Nick Bowers, and Danny Dalton. Entering his third season of focusing solely on offense, Jon Holland seems primed to become a steady contributor for Penn State in 2017.