Husky Roster Review: Holtzclaw Moves Ever Closer to Starting

The sophomore nicknamed "Showtime" is in the mix for more responsibility at edge rusher.
Lance Holtzlaw rushes the Tulsa quarterback in 2023.
Lance Holtzlaw rushes the Tulsa quarterback in 2023. / Skylar Lin Visuals

During University of Washington spring football, edge rusher Lance "Showtime" Holtzclaw changed jerseys, from No. 41 to 10, but the school still hasn't upgraded its online roster, leading to momentary confusion that he had reclaimed his old shirt.

Regardless of which digit he wears, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound sophomore edge rusher, who came to the Huskies from Mesa, Arizona, by way of Boston, remains this promising player in steady development who isn't too far off from starting.

Holtzclaw spent spring ball alternating between the No. 1 and 2 units in what might now be the most competitive position group for the Huskies this coming season, one that goes at least four deep on each side with experienced players bidding for jobs.

This guy has the best nickname among the edge rushers, answering to "Showtime," making him a premium channel all to himself.

"It was something that grew up on me when I moved in the furthering of my career, when I started being in front of the camera, when I started being more verbal, things like this," Holtzclaw said. "I think it's something that sticks with me."

This is one in a series of articles -- going from 0 to 99 on the Husky roster -- examining what each scholarship player and leading walk-on did this past spring and what to expect from them going forward.

Lance Holtzclaw grabs a handful of a Tulsa lineman.
Lance Holtzclaw grabs a handful of a Tulsa lineman. / Skylar Lin Visuals

Recruited by Jimmy Lake and signed by Kalen DeBoer, Holtzclaw appeared in 11 of the 15 games last season. He came up with 5 tackles, including one against Arizona and his current UW coach Jedd Fisch. He plays with a lot of speed and desire.

"He's got that burst you really want to see," DeBoer said after signing the edge rusher in December 2021 as one of five Lake recruits the coach kept along with center Parker Brailsford, wide receiver Germie Bernard, wide receiver Denzel Boston and tight end Ryan Otton.

Early in the third quarter of last year's Apple Cup, in a game tied at 14, Holtzclaw crashed into the backfield and ran down Washington State quarterback Cam Ward for his first career sack and a 9-yard loss, forcing a punt.

"Definitely feeling more confident out here on the field," he said, "and definitely ready to get after it."

While the UW coaches who recruited him and developed him have come and gone, and fellow Husky recruits Bernard and Parker followed DeBoer to Alabama, Hotlzclaw remains at the UW and on track to live up to that nickname of his.

"You can't go wrong with a guy known as Showtime," DeBoer said.

Holtzclaw, who probably needs another 10 pounds on his wiry frame to be at his best, has the fleet feet, plenty of snaps behind him and immeasurable personality. He just needs to stay the course, be comfortable with who he is and make a name for himself as No. 10.

Lance Holtzclaw shows off his personality as a freshman.
Lance Holtzclaw shows off his personality as a freshman. / Skylar Lin Visuals

LANCE HOLTZCLAW FILE

What he's done: Holtzclaw has received an ample taste of Husky game time, appearing in 14 of the 28 outings as a reserve during DeBoer's coaching tenure, or half of the games, either as an edge rusher or a special-teamer. His first career play came against Michigan State in 2022, when he was sent in to try and block a punt. His second appearance came the following week against Stanford when he replaced Zion Tupuola-Fetui after the starter lost a contact lens on the field and had to momentarily exit.

Starter or not: Zach Durfee and Isaiah Ward are the expected starters at edge, but Holtzclaw and a host of players aren't far behind them and are capable of being first-teamers. Showtime is ready to open games whenever and wherever the Huskies need him. With this guy, don't change that dial.

For the latest UW football and basketball news, go to si.com/college/washington


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Dan Raley

DAN RALEY

Dan Raley has worked for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, as well as for MSN.com and Boeing, the latter as a global aerospace writer. His sportswriting career spans four decades and he's covered University of Washington football and basketball during much of that time. In a working capacity, he's been to the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals, the MLB playoffs, the Masters, the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship and countless Final Fours and bowl games.