The "Silent Assassin", Louis Holmes.

There's no doubting the popularity of defensive end Louis Holmes. It's rising and at a meteoric rate. He's freakishly stout, uncommonly fast for his size and he'll take on tackles rather than try and go around. What he isn't, though, is vocal. While other players probably not nearly as formidable are flapping their jaws, Holmes is as quiet as can be. He's definitely a silent assassin.

If you look at Louis Holmes, you are thinking that this is a bad man. The kind that hits the field, scares you by just looking at you, smiles and flies by you or if you are unfortunate to be the quarterback, leaves an impression of your back in the grass.

You'd also think that this guy could run a line of smack all day and you'd be hard pressed to shut him up, because you'd have to stop him to do that.

Well, that's not even close to the real Louis Holmes as he's the last person on that field that you are likely to hear.

"I don't talk at all out there," Louis said. "I just stay in my zone, do my job and that's it."

I have to admit that I was almost disappointed, hoping for a few remarks that I could use as some of that juicy stuff that gets the fans going, drooling at the thought of this guy on their field.

The thing is, you look at him, look at what he's done with just one year at the junior college level, Holmes is right in that he doesn't have to say a thing. What he does, however, speaks volumes.

Most rush ends use their speed to get off the snap, try and get on the outside of the shoulder of the tackle and bend in towards the QB. Not Holmes as he's got the power to do what most can't even dream.

"Most rush ends I see, they like to run away from the tackle, because of their size, trying to get around them," Holmes said. "I just like going at them, because I think that I can take them on and get through them just as good as I could trying to go around."

Holmes definitely has the size to do it, standing 6 foot, 6 inches tall and weighing around 260 pounds. But he wants to get bigger. "If I am around 275 pounds with about 10 percent body fat, I think that will work for me," he said. "I think that's going to work to keep my speed, but be able to do what I do now at the next level."

What he does now or has done already in one solitary season in junior college ball is impressive:

Freshman All-American, around 100 tackles, 11 sacks and an interception.

Not bad, eh?

He's still not talking, though.

What he will talk about is recruiting, something that has fast become a topic he's been overwhelmed with to an extent. He's more popular than he ever thought he'd be. "I can't believe it sometimes, it's just crazy," Louis said. "I haven't even really thought about the recruiting all that much and the teams just keep coming."

The most recent is Tennessee, but the list of potential schools is a veritable who's who of the college elite, including USC, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Nebraska and UCLA. All that has Holmes thinking that his toughest road ahead isn't playing the game, it's figuring out where he's going to play. "Man, I don't know that I thought it would be easy to pick a school, but now it's really hard," he said. "It's just so many great schools, I don't know how I am going to try and figure out which will be the best for me."

That is something that he'll eventually have to do at some point, Holmes already looking at taking a couple of unofficial visits during the summer in hopes of doing just that. But, as open as he is about who is even attractive right now, he's just as open as to where those visits might go. "I don't know, I think about it, but I haven't figured it out yet," he said.

For the Husker fans out there, you can take some solace in knowing that his Nebraska connection is one that he's been keeping up-to-date with over the weeks; that of course Nebraska starting guard for the Husker basketball team Joe McCray. As a former teammate in high school and still a very close friend, Holmes has been hearing about how he's wanted in the Husker state. "Yeah, Joe said that they want me up there pretty bad," Holmes said. "So, I'm thinking that maybe one of my visits will be to go up there, hang out with him and check the place out."

That's a maybe, not a definite, which Holmes won't commit to about anything right now. He's got the handle on the situation, knowing that it's too early to decide on anything. Being an early enrollee, though, Holmes knows that sooner or later, he's going to have to start cutting down this list so he can really focus on just a few.

The problem is, he's just not sure where to start. "It's hard thinking about how you separate a lot of programs that are all great," he said. "I mean, all of them are great, so it's not like you can just pick one and know that they have this or that, that is better than anyone else."

"They've all got it, so that's just going to make it tougher."

If it's tough for the future, Holmes figures to be a guy that is suited well to handle it. Physically freakish, mentally mature, Louis promises to be one of the most coveted junior college prospects around.

If he does indeed meet his goals of doubling all of his stats from the previous year, the offers will be equally freakish in volume.

That would be a lot to talk about for any player, any level. You just won't hear a peep from him. "Let your pads do the talking," he said. "Talking is just that and it doesn't win games and that's what I want to do."

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