FB Forecast: LB Chris Holmes

After seeing spot starter duty in 2014, sophomore linebacker could push for the full time gig in 2015.

Chris Holmes

Position:
WLB

Height/Weight:
6-foot-2 / 215 pounds

High School:
Fredericksburg (VA) / Chancellor

Year:
Redshirt Sophomore

*****

2014 Review
Following a redshirt season, Holmes burst into the rotation at linebacker, appearing in all 13 games, and starting four times with an accumulation of 350 snaps on the season. His best game came against Tulane where he recorded six tackles against the Green Wave. The next week he recorded five stops against Kansas. *****

2015 Preview
Holmes begins the year behind converted safety Dwayne Norman at the weak side linebacker position on the depth chart. As camp has progressed and the Blue Devils have seen injuries hold various players out, Holmes has gotten a number of reps with the ones and twos, and will likely push Norman at the position. Cutcliffe has made a point to emphasize that what his group of linebackers lacks in size, they make up for in speed and athleticism, and Holmes represents that. He’s a former recipient of the program’s Sonny Falcone Iron Duke Award which is presented annually to one offensive player, one defensive player and one player in the developmental program for their year-round commitment to strength training and conditioning. Entering the season he ranked second within the LB group in both the vertical jump (33’5”) and broad jump (9’11”). *****

TDD Projection
Already getting meaningful reps throughout camp, it’s likely that Holmes will eclipse the total number of snaps played a season ago, even if he doesn’t start more games. The grind of the season is something that can take a toll on depth charts, and with a group of linebackers who may be on the smaller (but faster) side of the things it’s almost assured that the top backups will be called into action more frequently than expected. Given that Holmes has as much experience as he does, we wouldn’t be surprised to see he and Norman alternating starts and series at some point this season.

*****

How he ended up in Durham
Holmes was committed to NC State from July until January. Then, after the coaching change in Raleigh, Holmes re-opened his recruitment and the Blue Devils received an official visit that ended up flipping the commitment to Duke.

"I had a better bond with the coaches and the players at Duke," Holmes told Nathan Warters of Fredericksburg.com. "And it's a team on the turnaround, and I want to be part of that."

Duke's recruitment of Holmes begin during the summer of his junior year he made the trip to Durham for camp and continued until he made the decision to attend NC State over offers from Michigan, Boston College, Clemson, Illinois, Maryland, and South Carolina.

*****

High School Highlights
Three-year letterman at Chancellor under coach Bob Oliver ... helped Chancellor to three-year record of 21-12 ... charted as the No. 77 safety in the nation by Scout.com ... first team all-district selection following senior season ... as a senior, carded 30 tackles and one INT while catching 25 passes for 330 receiving yards and four TDs ... [info from this last section gathered from GoDuke.com]

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