Holley in the 2009 preseason.
|Date of birth:||January 8, 1984|
|Place of birth:||Roselle, New Jersey|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||213 lb (97 kg)|
|High school:||Roselle (NJ) Abraham Clark|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Jesse Holley (born January 8, 1984) is a former American football wide receiver from Roselle, New Jersey who last played for the New England Patriots of the National Football League. He was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent in 2007. He played college football at North Carolina. He won the reality TV show, 4th and Long.
Holley played high school football at Abraham Clark High School in Roselle where he is the all-time leader in receptions (106), receiving yards (1,449) and touchdown catches (27). Holley would also play quarterback starting five games in the position. In his junior year, Holley caught 44 passes for 865 yards and 13 touchdowns. He finished his career with 106 receptions for 1,449 yards, 27 touchdown receptions and was ranked in the top 20 receivers by most recruiting websites and magazines. In basketball, Holley averaged 20 points per game and broke the school's career basketball scoring record.
Holley played both basketball and football for the University of North Carolina. He was a member of the 2004–05 North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball team that won the National Championship.
In football, he played in all 12 games as a freshman, had 12 receptions for 168 yards, two touchdowns and one tackle on special teams. Holley walked-on to the Tar Heels men's basketball team, where he was a backup guard and scored 11 points in 15 games as a freshman.
Holley played in all 12 games and became one of the starting receivers his sophomore season. He finished the season second on the team with 30 catches for 456 yards and two touchdowns. His 45-yard touchdown receptions with 36 seconds left to play, was the go ahead score in a 31-24 win over Wake Forest University. He also played his last season of basketball, scoring 13 points in 10 games and was a part of the 2005 National Championship team.
Again starting all games his junior year, Holley led the team with 47 receptions for 670 yards and scored one touchdown. He was ranked fifth in the league in receiving yards per game and sixth in receptions.
Holley had 37 receptions for 466 yards and scored two touchdowns as a senior. At the time, he finished his career eighth in school history in career receptions (126) and receiving yards (1,760), averaging 14.0 yards per-catch and scoring 7 touchdowns.
Holley was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cincinnati Bengals after the 2007 NFL draft. He finished the preseason with 3 catches for 25 yards. He was waived on September 4 and signed to the Bengals' practice squad three days later. On October 4, he was released to make room for wide receiver Marcus Maxwell.
After safety Barron Miles sent tapes to the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League; Holley signed with the team on May 22, 2008, and was released on June 15, following the team's first pre-season game.
Holley was the winner of Michael Irvin's football reality show 4th and Long; he received an invitation to attend the Dallas Cowboys training camp. Before being on 4th and Long, he was working as a security guard, as well as selling cell phones in North Carolina. On July 21, 2009, he was officially signed by the Cowboys. Holley caught a pass on August 21, 2009, in the fourth quarter of the preseason game against the Tennessee Titans. On September 4, Holley returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings. The Cowboys released Holley on September 5 as a final cut. He cleared waivers and was signed to the Cowboys' practice squad on September 6, where he would spend the rest of the year.
Holley signed a futures contract with the Cowboys on January 22, 2010, after his previous agreement expired at season's end. On September 4, he was again waived at the final cuts and was signed to the team's practice squad the day after. He was promoted to the active roster on October 15 to play mainly on special teams. During that season he was active for 14 games and ranked third on the team with 16 special teams tackles.
In the August 27, 2011 preseason game, against the Minnesota Vikings, Holley recorded three catches for 51 yards. At the conclusion of the preseason he made the 53-man roster to be the fifth receiver on the depth chart.
On September 18, during the second game of the season against the San Francisco 49ers, he was the team's third receiver because Dez Bryant was inactive with a bruised quadriceps. He recorded his first NFL reception for 11 yards and made two more during the Cowboys' final drive in regulation, leading to overtime. In overtime, after a three-and-out by the 49ers offense, Holley wasn't supposed to be on the field for the first series, but he was replacing Miles Austin who had a tweak his hamstring. He ended up making a 77-yard reception during Dallas' first offensive play, taking the ball to the 1-yard line and setting up the game winning 19-yard field goal by Dan Bailey.
New England Patriots
He is the younger brother of Jamel Holley, former Mayor of Roselle, New Jersey and current New Jersey Assemblyman from the 20th Legislative District. In 2013, he became a member of the KRLD-FM Dallas Cowboys pre and post game coverage.
- "#9 Jesse Holley". University of North Carolina. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
- "Bengals release oft-injured WR Chatman". Associated Press. The Sporting News. September 7, 2007. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
- "Thursday's Sports Transactions". USA Today. October 5, 2007. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
- "Holley campaigns for a spot". Vancouver Sun. Canada.com. June 6, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
- "Lions sign Allen, Holley". Canada.com. May 22, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
- "BC Lions Transactions". BC Lions Football Club Inc. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
- Little, Lyndon (June 15, 2008). "B.C. Lions looking for a more professional effort". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
- "Jesse Holley wins '4th and Long' to try out with Dallas Cowboys". Dallas Morning News. July 20, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
- King, Peter. "From reality winner to upstart Bills, Week 2 boasted great stories". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
- "WR Jesse Holley seizes the moment". Retrieved January 16, 2016.
- "Holley-wood ending: Little-used WR leads Cowboys to big overtime win". Retrieved January 16, 2016.
- "Jesse Holley Stats". Retrieved January 16, 2016.
- "Patriots sign three Players". Retrieved January 16, 2016.