Holmes Beginning to Take Official Visits

Highly sought Hoboken, N.J. defensive lineman Isaac Holmes had originally thought he'd commit by the start of his senior year, and quite possibly to Maryland. The summer came and went without a commitment from Holmes, but that's not to say the Terps don't remain in great position.

Holmes, who is rated the No. 27 offensive guard in the nation by Scout.com but will play defensive tackle in college, had more than two-dozen scholarship offers before narrowing his list to six schools: Maryland, Rutgers, Florida, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma and Penn State. He's begun to set up official visits, including one this Friday to Gainesville, because he wants to compare the other schools to Maryland, he said.

"They're still right up there at the top of my list. Right now. They've been recruiting me forever. They're pretty strong with me. That's pretty much why I want to take these official visits, to see what's out there and how [the other schools compare to Maryland]," he said.

Holmes, who briefly this summer said he was down to Maryland, Pitt and Rutgers, will definitely visit UF, RU, Maryland and Pitt. The final visit, he said, will be to either Oklahoma or Penn State. His cousin and former teammate, Bearthur Johnson, is a redshirt freshman at Maryland and the two speak frequently. Johnson has had some setbacks in improving his conditioning but has maintained a positive attitude throughout.

"I speak to ‘B' all the time. I'm expecting a call from [assistant coach Dave] Sollazzo tomorrow, actually. ‘B' loves it there. He's had a little problem with his weight and what not, but they're not just going to give up on you. I just like the way they treat you there. They're going to work with you," Holmes said.

The 6-foot-3 Holmes, whose season begins Sept. 13, has had no such issues. He's cut 13 pounds in the past few weeks of camp and is down to a svelte 285 pounds. His combination of prototypical size and excellent power and agility make him one of the top defensive line prospects in the Mid-Atlantic.

When he returns from Florida, he'll map out the rest of his visits. He said there's a slight possibility he could commit before completing them if a school wows him, but that's unlikely; he plans to sit down shortly after the final visit and make the call. As of now, it seems the Terps stand as good a chance as anyone.

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