Huskers going after JUCO All-American

It's something going through the recruiting process as a player. Well, trying going through it twice. It's probably not the route you wanted to take coming out of the prep-level, but if junior college does become a necessity, you get that much more acclimated to the kind of speed when you eventually hit division 1-A. That's what Louis Holmes is doing and in one year, he's already an All-American at that level. And, yes, the recruiting has been heating up like crazy, this the second time around.

Just to look at Louis Holmes' picture and realize that he stands 6 foot, 6 inches tall and weighs around 270 pounds, if there is someone that is physically ready to contribute he arrives on a division 1-A campus, it's him. Add to that his reported 4.6/40 speed, and at least on paper, this guy is a stud.

Well, he is actually, Holmes in his first year at Scottsdale community college in Scottsdale, Arizona, already achieving the coveted All-American status with All-Everything kind of numbers. "Last year, I had like a hundred and some tackles, 11 sacks, an interception and I don't know how many tackles for loss," Louis said. "The tackles came pretty easy at first, but towards the end of the year, I was getting most of them running on the backside, because nobody was playing me straight up."

Hard to blame schools for doing that, Holmes saying that early on in Scottsdale's 9-2 season, teams just played him like any other guy. Again, though, Holmes had to change his mind-set, because instead of thinking that the QB might be there once he got around the lineman, he knew he was going to be in a track meet.

"There was a lot of running, but it was fun," Holmes said. "I mean, you have to be able to run, be physical, use your hands and everything, so this just showed them that there wasn't just one thing you could do to stop me. Running away wasn't always going to work."

Holmes hasn't had to worry about colleges running away, Louis sitting on almost double-digit offers right now. But, like being in the backfield, this is nothing new to the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida native. From his roots in Tennessee to Florida and then up to prep-school in Maine, Louis sees the attention as a road he's been down before. "I'd say the attention right now is about the same as it was when I was in high school," Holmes said. "It's a little crazier now, but I was ready for what it would be like."

The schools range in region and recent success, Holmes stating that he's gotten offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Utah, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Auburn, Louisville, Kansas State and Texas A&M. The school you might notice is missing is Ohio State, the school he originally committed to out of the prep ranks. As to the Buckeyes being involved once more in his recruiting, Holmes said that OSU wasn't a candidate anymore. "They are like my last option," Louis said. "I am pretty wide open, but I know I am not going there."

Wide open? Yes, but not so much that Holmes hasn't completely lost focus of a few teams here and there, at least as far as where his official visits might go. Right now, of the schools that have offered him, there's one that he said he'd definitely be visiting when the time comes. "I know I am going to visit Oklahoma," he said. "I want to make it there and I think USC is going to offer me and if they do, I'll probably take a visit there to."

There seems to be a trend there, these two teams seemingly not a coincidence in that both played for the national title last year. Success is important to Holmes, but he did go onto say that they don't have to have just been in a national title game, but it would be nice that during his 2 years of playing time at a particular school, he might have a legitimate shot. "Everyone wants to win and be part of a winner," he said. "I mean, I'm not just looking at schools with undefeated records, but I want to go to a program that looks like a winner, will have a chance to do well in the season and a place I know gets enough exposure, because I eventually want to make it to the league."

The dream of the NFL is one that many players have, regardless of the level they are at right now. A position coach that has been there or he is confident that can get him there is another plus for the program trying to lure him to their university. "If my coach has been in the NFL or has a history of putting guys in the NFL, that's big," Louis said. "He knows what it takes to get there, where you have to be physically and mentally, so that's a place I will look at a lot closer."

"Plus, I have to be able to get along with the guy and know that he has my best interests in mind."

The interests will be there for Holmes this year, more schools no doubt jumping on the offer bandwagon for one of Junior College's best outside forces. Holmes is ready for it and willing to wait as long as he needs to, even up to the mid-year signing date in November. "I'm not going to make the same mistake I made out of high school," he said. "I'm going to look at this thing real carefully, visit as many of these schools that I can and if it takes to November to figure it out, then that's how long it takes."

"I'm not in any kind of a hurry."

Holmes will be a December enrollee and will have three years to play two.

There's a Nebraska connection here and for what that connection is and if it could help Nebraska, check out the RED ZONE for the full skinny on this mammoth DE from Arizona.


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