Holmes Returns Spartans Faith

Michigan State football coaches took a leap of faith in offering 2013 running back Gerald Holmes an early scholarship. Holmes returned the Spartans faith with his verbal pledge following Sunday's visit. Holmes spoke with Spartan Digest about the reasons he made the decision to be a Spartan so early.

Despite missing time this past season, Gerald Holmes of Flint (MI) Carman-Ainsworth high school saw Michigan State standout in issuing his an early scholarship offer as a running back in the Class of 2013.

The faith the Spartans showed Holmes did not go unnoticed by the 6-foot-1, 190-pound back as Holmes gave head coach Mark Dantonio his pledge following an unofficial visit on Sunday.

"I believed this was the best decision for me," said Holmes on the reasons for his early pledge. "Michigan State showed great confidence in my abilities by offering me early despite the fact I didn't have any major stats or colleges looking at me. I also felt at home each time I visit campus over the past several months as I attend camp, went to a game and have been to a couple of basketball games."

Despite the outcome of his visit, Holmes didn't enter the day thinking about making an early pledge.

"This was just a chill back day to watch the Spartans play Michigan today," Holmes continued. "I had a chance to speak with Tom Izzo and Coach Dantonio and then after the game I shook Coach Dantonio's hand and told him I wanted to commit."

What reaction did the Spartans head coach have when he received the news?

"First he stopped me and wanted to make sure this is what I wanted to do," said Holmes. "Then he was very happy about it."

With the loss of Edwin Baker to the NFL Draft along with early talk of LeVeon Bell possibility taking the same path after next season, Holmes knows the Spartans will need help at running back. Did it play a factor in his decision?

"It played a factor," he said. "If Le'Veon stays I'll get a chance to play next to him. If he leaves I'll have a chance to play early."

Despite his early pledge Holmes feels he's got some things to proven about his on field abilities.

"I've been working out with my dad who is a personal trainer," Holmes said. "I'm also running track this spring leading up to my summer workouts so I can breakout this season.

"I have kind of battled the feeling I have a lot to prove and I understand colleges wanted to see what I could do when healthy my senior season. However, after going through what I went through this past year and too have State stick with me, that was a big thing.

"Now I can hit the gym even stronger because I want to show everyone State made a great decision in sticking with me."

Spartan Digest will continue to follow Holmes over the next several months until he officially becomes a Spartan next February.

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