UM in Top 3

When it comes to playing defense in the state of Florida, not many do it any better than Rockledge. The Raiders are once again dominant on that side of the ball and a major reason for their success has been the play of linebacker Johnny Holmes.

At 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, Holmes has been dominating the opposition from his outside linebacker position. He currently leads the Space Coast in sacks with 5 1/2 and has 22 tackles on the season. He doubles as a tight end on offense but defense is his ticket for the future.

"I've got experience playing end so I really like playing outside linebacker," he said. "I can blitz, play in coverage, do whatever it takes. I've adjusted well."

Holmes has helped his team to a 5-0 start, including four shutouts.

"We're on a mission to win it all," he said. "We worked really hard all summer and then had to deal with all the hurricane stuff. It knocked things around a bit but everyone has kept their focus. We beat what we thought would be our toughest opponent (Cocoa, 7-0) so now we just need to continue playing hard and going one game at a time."

Holmes, who also participates in track after the season, believes he's one of the best linebackers in the state.

"I just go full speed all the time," he said. "I think I'm real versatile as a linebacker. You can move me around and do different things. I can come up with big plays too."

The talented linebacker prospect has already received some major scholarship offers.

"West Virginia and Tennessee have given me offers so far," he said. "I'm not sure, there might be a couple more but those are ones I know of. Coaches from Miami, Florida, and Ole Miss call me about every week too and they're all thinking about offering. Miami is still checking my film but I know he wouldn't be calling if they weren't thinking about offering later."

Holmes said three programs stick out on his list of current favorites.

"I don't have any visits yet," he said. "Miami, West Virginia, and Florida are the ones I like most. I can't say which one (leads)."

Holmes talks with UM coaches on a regular basis. He talked more about the Hurricanes.

"Miami, that's a big time program," he said. "They're always winning and playing for championships. The only thing about Miami is that they have so many great players all the time that I might have to sit for my first couple years. I love playing football, not watching it. But I guess that's part of the deal when you go to a place like that."

Despite that, Holmes believes there's another side to that story.

"On the otherhand, all it takes is one or two years to shine at Miami and you're going big, to the NFL," he said. "That's where I wanna be in 4 or 5 years and I know playing at Miami will help get me there. That's why I like Miami so much. Florida is close to home and I like the program they have going too. West Virginia was the first school to show a lot of interest."

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