Atlanta (Ga.) Westminster tight end Holden Staes has decommitted from Penn State. The 6-foot-4, 220 pound junior committed to the Nittany Lions in August, and remained firm through the season, but after a change at offensive coordinator, and his lead recruiting, tight ends coach Tyler Bowen’s departure for the NFL, Staes is ready to open things up.”I have been thinking about this for about a month, and once coach Bowen decided to leave, that really set it off, and made it the right time to do this,” said Staes. “I called coach James Franklin last night and him know I am no longer committed to Penn State.”
Staes still loves Penn State as a school, and he has a lot of respect for coach Franklin, so he does not want to lose contact, but he has questions about the future of the offense, who his position coach would be, and he is now set to explore his options.”I am going to entertain every opportunity now that I am back open. I’m not focused on any specific schools this soon and I will take a step back see what options are best for me.”There is a quartet of schools that have stayed in contact with him that he knows he will continue to build his relationship with.“I’m open to everyone, but there are some schools that I’ve been able to talk with a lot lately. Texas just offered me last week, and they are a school on the list, then Alabama, Georgia and LSU.”Staes was a top target for Steve Sarkisian when he was at Alabama, so now that he is head coach at Texas, the Longhorns have made the Peach State talent a target. Staes is excited about learning more and plans to visit Austin as soon as that is allowed. The Crimson Tide, Bulldogs and Tigers never let up. Along with wide receivers coach Holmon Wiggins, new Alabama running backs coach Robert Gillespie and tight ends coach Jay Graham are recruiting Staes. He has talked to all three this week.Head coach Ed Orgeron is highly involved for LSU and tight ends coach Todd Hartley from Georgia has never let up his pursuit.Staes has hit the rest button, and he mentioned schools like Arizona State, Auburn, Florida State and Ole Miss as others that are showing heavy interest. If Clemson, Miami or Oklahoma decide to offer, those schools he would be open to as well. Now he will wait for visits.”That is what’s next for me,” said Staes. “Hopefully in April, we will be allowed to take visits again, and I will be able to get out and see different schools. That is what I want to do.”I want to get on campus and find the best situation for me.”The combination of academics and football has to be right for Staes. On the football side, the four-star student-athlete wants to find the right offense that features tight ends of his skill-set. That will play a big role in his decision.