American Football Database
American Football Database
Jesse Holley
Holley in the 2009 preseason.
Free Agent
Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1984-01-08) January 8, 1984 (age 37)
Place of birth: Roselle, New Jersey
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Weight: 213 lb (97 kg)
Career information
College: North Carolina
Undrafted in 2007
Debuted in 2011 for the Dallas Cowboys
Career history
*Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
  • Honorable mention All-ACC (2005)
  • All-ACC Candidate (2006)
  • 4th and Long Winner (2009)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 13, 2011
Receptions     7
Receiving yards     169
Receiving TDs     0
Stats at

Jesse Holley (born January 8, 1984) is an American football wide receiver 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.

Early years

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. Holley 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.[1] Holley is a cousin of former Boston Globe writer and current WEEI evening drive host Michael Holley. This has been confirmed by their grandmother Katherine.

College career

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.

Freshman season

Holley played in all 12 games and had 12 receptions for 168 yards, two touchdowns and had a tackle on special teams.[1] before transferring to basketball which he played on the National Championship team and scored 13 points in the season

Sophomore season

Holley played in all 12 games and became one of the starting receivers. He finished the season second on the team with 30 catches for 456 yards and two touchdowns.[1]

Junior season

Again starting all games 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.[1]

Senior season

Holley had 37 receptions for 466 yards and scored two touchdowns.

Professional career

Cincinnati Bengals

Holley was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cincinnati Bengals. After being cut following training camp, he was signed to Bengals practice squad on September 7, 2007.[2] On October 5, he was released when Marcus Maxwell was signed.[3]

BC Lions

After safety Barron Miles sent tapes to the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League;[4] Holley signed with the team on May 22, 2008,[5] and released June 15, following the team's first pre-season game.[6][7]

Dallas Cowboys

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.[8] Before being on 4th and Long, he was working as a security guard, as well as selling cell phones in North Carolina.[9] He was signed to the team on July 21, 2009.[10] Holley played in his first game for the NFL on August 13, 2009 in a preseason game against the Oakland Raiders. Holley recorded no catches, blocks or tackles. Holley caught his first pass on August 21, 2009 in the fourth quarter 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 signed to the Cowboys' practice squad on September 6, 2009.

Holley re-signed a future contract with the Cowboys on January 22, 2010, after his contract expired at season's end. During the 2010 preseason, many figured Holley to make the team past Sam Hurd. On September 4, 2010, he was again waived at the final cuts. He was signed to the team's practice squad the day after. He was promoted to the active roster on October 15, 2010. During that season he was active for 14 games and was the third-leading tackler on special teams.

In the August 27, 2011 preseason game, against the Minnesota Vikings, Holley recorded three catches for 51 yards. At the conclusion of the 2011 preseason, Holley made the 53-man roster, and was expected to be fifth receiver on the depth chart.

On September 18, 2011, during the second game of the 2011 season against the San Francisco 49ers, Holley recorded his first NFL reception for 11 yards. He made two catches during the Cowboys' final drive in regulation, leading to overtime. In overtime, after a three-and-out by the 49ers offense, Holley made 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.[11]

For the 2011 season (and career) he made a total of 7 receptions for 169 yards for an average of 24.1 ypc.[12]

New England Patriots

Holley was signed by the New England Patriots on June 11th, 2012.[13] He was released on August 31st, 2012.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "#9 Jesse Holley". University of North Carolina. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
  2. "Bengals release oft-injured WR Chatman". Associated Press (The Sporting News). September 7, 2007. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
  3. "Thursday's Sports Transactions". USA Today. October 5, 2007. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
  4. "Holley campaigns for a spot". Vancouver Sun ( June 6, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
  5. "Lions sign Allen, Holley". May 22, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
  6. "BC Lions Transactions". BC Lions Football Club Inc.. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
  7. Little, Lyndon (June 15, 2008). "B.C. Lions looking for a more professional effort". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
  8. "Jesse Holley wins '4th and Long' to try out with Dallas Cowboys". Dallas Morning News. July 20, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
  9. King, Peter. "From reality winner to upstart Bills, Week 2 boasted great stories". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 20 September 2011.

External links

Template:2005 North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball navbox