Coming in at 5-11 and 178-pounds, Gavin Holmes from Northwest High School in Justin, Texas terrorized defensive backfields using his 4.43 speed to rack up some impressive numbers. A member of the 2017 class, Holmes had a very successful junior season for the Texans.
“I’m 5-11, 185 and at the Nike Opening I clocked a 4.43,” said Holmes. “Last season I totalled 65 catches for 920 yards and nine touchdowns. It was a good year for me last season at Northwest High.”
Recently Holmes picked up a scholarship offer from the BYU Cougars in a most surprising way. It was his first big time offer from a big time program.
“I was really excited about it,” Holmes said. “I had been talking to BYU wide receiver coach Ben Cahoon, and we talked a little bit and he caught me off-guard. He was talking to me about coming on down to visit BYU. He talked about an offer that might come on my visit.
“I gave him a call the next day and that’s when he gave me the scholarship offer. I was really surprised by that and excited because I wasn’t expecting it. It was a great feeling.”
BYU wide receiver coach Ben Cahoon, nicknamed “Velcro Hands” because he never dropped a pass while amassing 14,654 yards during his career in the CFL, is looking for someone like him to coach at the next level. In Gavin Holmes, he just may have found him.
“I would rather be coached by somebody who has done great things as a wide receiver because they’ve been there and done that out on the field,” said Holmes. “He can show you what to do because he’s had success doing it. He’s the kind of coach that can show you what to do.”
Holmes has heard about BYU from a former Cougar wide receiver who currently trains him.
“My wide receiver’s coach Margin Hooks went to BYU,” Holmes said. “It’s obviously different because of the religious side of things, but BYU was my first big time offer. BYU is not in a conference but they play P5 football, so the offer from them got me really excited. I’m most likely going to be going down there this Friday.”
Holmes is very close to Margin Hooks. He looks up to him not only as a successful collegiate wide receiver who eventually made it to the NFL, but he also sees him as a role model and mentor as well.
“He’s one of my mentors and role models and has really helped me out through this process,” said Holmes. “He’s a great receivers coach, great trainer, and a great man as well. He’s really helped me through this recruiting process as well. I’m just grateful for him and all he’s done for me.”
A BYU preseason All-American candidate at BYU back in 2000, Coach Hooks is now a trainer and owner of The Sky’s the Limit, which provides athletes with physical, mental, and psychological preparation. Hooks was involved in helping current BYU wide receiver/defensive back Akile Davis find a home at BYU and has spoken a lot to Holmes about Coach Cahoon and BYU.
“Yeah, Coach Hooks has told me a lot about BYU,” said Holmes. “He played with Coach Cahoon at BYU and has been talking up BYU. He knows Coach Cahoon really well and talks about BYU’s offensive coordinator Ty Detmer. He knows a lot of the staff and tells me how great they are. When I talk to Coach Cahoon I know what he’s talking about. He told me a lot about the school and about the fans. I’m excited to go down there and meet this unbelievable staff.”
BYU’s offensive coordinator Ty Detmer is the only NCAA offensive coordinator who has won a Heisman Trophy. To think that someone with Detmer’s background and accomplishments wants him to be a part of his offense is an amazing honor to Holmes.
“There’s no better feeling than that to know guys like them want you to be a part of their staff,” said Holmes. “It really builds your confidence to know that they’ve bought into me. They’ve played with a lot of great talent, and to think that they think of me that way is an unbelievable feeling.”
“Oregon, West Virginia, Arkansas, Florida State, Miami, and Mississippi State are talking to me as well,” said Holmes. “Some of them should be coming down to see me as well in the spring. Most of the in-state schools already have receiver commits and spots filled. I haven’t really heard a lot from any of the Texas schools unless someone decommits then they’ll come after me.”
This Friday, Holmes will have a chance to get a better feeling about his offer from BYU.
“I’m really excited to go down and see the campus and meet all the coaches down there,” Holmes said. “I want to finally meet Coach Cahoon and build a closer relationship with him. I just want to check out the campus and see how things are down there. It was really cool that he told me that I could come down there and have an immediate impact within their program. That really made me feel good and is awesome!”
Shortly after BYU offered Holmes, Utah also extended an offer as well. Once Holmes is finished visiting BYU, he drive north to Salt Lake City to visit Utah as well.
“After I visit BYU I’m going to go check out the University of Utah,” he said. “They offered me right after BYU did, so I’m going to go down and visit them as well.”
In the meantime, Holmes is looking forward to meeting the BYU and CFL legend, and one of the top receivers in all of professional football, Coach Ben Cahoon.
“It’s just that awesome that the coaching staff at BYU is that confident me that they want me to come be a part of their program,” Holmes said. “Coach Cahoon and I communicate really well together and he just tells me how bad he wants to coach me and stuff like that. He’s a really great guy and I can’t wait to meet him.”