Holmes, Steptoe highlight day 2

Let's be honest, the biggest story on the second night of fall camp was the arrival of Louis Holmes. Not only was Holmes at Rincon Vista, but he was suited up and is officially a Wildcat. His appearance overshadowed another great practice, including some big play by both the offense and the defense.

The buzz began earlier in the day. Word on Thursday night was that Holmes had finished his coursework for his AA degree and had all the requirements to get into the University of Arizona. He told Wildcat Insider that he was headed to Tucson that night and hoped that he could get cleared to play as early as Friday.

Friday mid-day the school's media relations confirmed just that.

Friday night Holmes was in uniform, wearing a blue No. 1 jersey. Fear not Syndric Steptoe fans, the senior receiver will wear the same number No. 1 when he is on offense.

Holmes has slimmed down since signing day and is probably in the 250-pound range. He's leaner but he's still strong and an intimidating presence. He looks to be a legit 6-6 and moves extremely well for a player his size.

Holmes is still learning the defense and was getting a lot of extra attention from the coaches. He has not been eligible to attend any meeting but quickly picked up the basics of the defense and got a number of reps in 11-on-11 drills.

The highlight of the evening came when he chased Adam Austin and forced him to dump the ball out of bounds. Not telling if he would have gotten the sack if contact was allowed.

A focus of my attention was on the receiving corps, particularly the rookies. All three are impressive physical specimens but they do have a lot to learn. All three made the routine catches with ease, but have to be better at making the difficult grabs. That is not to say they were not able to make some tough catches, but they need to be able to make the difficult look routine.

It is good to see that Delashaun Dean has put on some weight. He's still got some work to do in the weight room, but he obviously added some muscle which will be a benefit.

Freshman punter Keenyn Crier was more consistent on the second day but still has a few miss-hits. Kyle McQuown handled most of the kicks with the punt coverage unit and looked solid. Crier also got a few kicks in with the group, and he too looked very good.

Things got very heated during running drills. On three occasions small skirmishes broke out between offensive and defensive linemen. No serious altercations, but there was some feistiness on the field.

For the most part the defense had the upper hand, but Chris Henry and Chris Jennings each broke off a nice run. They'd duplicate that in the 11-on-11 scrimmage. Jennings, particularly, was impressive with a few big time moves.

There were three big plays in the scrimmage portion, two by the offense and one by the defense.

For the second straight night safety Nate Ness picked off and Austin pass and returned it a long way. On this occasion Ness read the play and jumped in front of a short pass and would likely have gone for the score had it been real game situation.

The offense closed out the highlights. Willie Tuitama found Syndric Steptoe on the right side and fired a perfect pass to the senior who had gotten behind true freshman corner Devin Ross.

On the final play of the practice Steptoe found a space between Cam Nelson and Cory Hall and Tuitama delivered another perfect pass for a score.

*Holmes was the only player to gain eligibility on Friday. Freshmen D'aundre Reed, Michael Turner and Derke Robinson were all on hand in street clothes but cannot participate. Junior college transfer Gabe Long and freshman Braylon Broughton are also trying to get their cleared to play.

*Dean has already switched numbers. He traded in his number 20 for number 18.

*Former Cats Glenn Parker, Kevin Berry and Brandon Sanders are on hand. Berry is still in the NFL but he will sit out the entire season following knee surgery.

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