DR Lance Holtzclaw

Lance Holtzclaw is a "freak of nature" for the Desert Ridge football team, doing just about everything for the Jaguars.

Daniel Pike is a sports journalism student at Arizona State University covering Desert Ridge High School athletics.

Standing at 6-foot, 4 inches with a 6-foot, 9-inch wingspan, Lance Holtzclaw is a generational talent. A Washington University commit, Holtzclaw has been a leader and a dominant force for Desert Ridge over the last couple of years.

Holtzclaw, a Boston native, began his football career at 9years old. His childhood friend invited him to a practice one day and he's been hooked ever since.

“Everything else I was doing I stopped doing, that is what I liked the most, why would I do anything else,” Holtzclaw added.

He played Pop Warner from 2013-18 before moving to Arizona and beginning his career at Desert Ridge. Holtzclaw played a couple of junior varsity games due to being behind two Division I players in Joquarri Price and Aidan Lee.

Holtzclaw quickly moved up to varsity and had a solid sophomore season. He flashed both as a receiver and a pass rusher finishing the season with three sacks in limited action.

His junior season is when everything started to come together.

Holtzclaw became a full-time starter and received his first offer from his hometown team Boston College after a monster game against Higley.

He picked up offers from Idaho, Vanderbilt, Boise State and Washington.

Holtzclaw committed on July 9, 2021, to Washington because of its dedication to him and plan for how it would use him on the football field.

“It was really cool, there was so much love when I posted it and the energy coming back, it was so relieving to have made an official decision and be able to focus on our season ahead,” Holtzclaw added.

With the requirement out of the way, Holtzclaw has been dominating opposing linemen all season. He is lining up at defensive end, receiver, tight end and even offensive line doing everything he can to help his team win.

Even with his versatility, Holtzclaw’s bread and butter is his ability to rush the passer. He can rush with speed, finesse and relentlessness. With 13 career sacks already Holtzclaw is on a tear with at least one sack in every game over the last five weeks.

Holtzclaw has made it his mission to become a more complete player this season and it is showing.

“He has learned to play the run a lot better, he has a more mature motor and he has become a more vocal leader,” added Desert Ridge head coach Roy Lopez.

Holtzclaw is not the type to be complacent, now that he is going to Washington. He remains humble and hungry and is always looking to be the best that he can be.

“I always feel like I have more to prove, there is always more work to be done, right now I'm working on using my hands trying to get my hands on them before they do on me,” Holtzclaw said.

The Washington Huskies have had an impressive group of pass rushers go through their program over the years. NFL stars such as Mason Foster, Cory Littleton, John Timu and Shaq Thompson.

Holtzclaw will be arriving in Washington next season and is looking to add his name to that elite group.

“Wouldn’t surprise me to see him play on Sundays given how high his ceiling is,” Desert Ridge defensive coordinator Sammy Johns added.

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