Despite practicing mainly with the first team during the first three days of practice, no depth chart has been publically released, and Coach Shannon and staff insist that there is unadulterated competition at every position. Even the players are hesitant to claim that they have a starting job, because they know it's never set in stone.
"I'm not sure where I'm at right now," said Holmes. "That's up to Coach Shannon and Coach Hurtt. I just have to go out there and compete."
It's hard to ignore the emergence of Holmes, however, being that he got zero playing time last season and took a redshirt. An undersized prospect coming out of high school a year ago, Holmes used his redshirt year to bulk up to get to an ideal weight for his position and to study the techniques of the players ahead of him, including current NFL players Baraka Atkins and Kareem Brown.
"I came in at around 285 and then dropped down to 260. But I'm up to almost 280 now."
" Last year, being redshirted, I got a chance to watch a lot of great players play. I also learned a lot from them. It was just a great experience to watch some of them play, and you know some of them are in the NFL right now. "
If you ask Holmes who deserves the credit for his emergence, he'll give you an immediate answer: Coach Hurtt.
"The one thing Coach Hurtt always told me was to go out there and have fun, because when you think about too much stuff, that's when you start playing bad. We all can play here, that's why we're here."
"I just told him to his face. He's probably the best coach I've ever been coached by. In the first two weeks that I got here, I learned more from him than I did during all of high school." Holmes and the Hurricanes will practice in shells tomorrow and will don the pads for the first time on Wednesday.