'I Just Loved Everything About It'

Although he won't sign a letter of intent for another year, St. Petersburg (Fl.) Catholic guard Aaron Holmes knew where he wanted to go. He is ready to play for Herb Sendek and the NC State Wolfpack.

"I went up to visit, and I hung out with all the players and coaches," Aaron Holmes said. "I just loved everything about it. The arena was great, and the coaches spent a lot of time with me. It was just a great visit."

"What made me look at NC State more is they have 13 scholarships, but they only use 10 of them," he added. "Plus, they are on Tobacco Road, and the ACC is the best conference.

"Also, right after the BCA tournament coach Sendek flew down to my practice and watched me work out. That showed me he wanted me a lot, so I called him after practice and told him I was ready to commit. He seemed real excited about it."

Holmes, a 6'4 guard who is versatile enough to play point, shooting guard, or small forward, admits that playing right away was a big factor in his decision. When he enrolls at NC State, the Wolfpack will have lost current guards Tony Bethel, Julius Hodge, and Cameron Bennerman.

"Nothing's going to be given to me, but I think if I practice hard I can play right away," Holmes said. "They are losing Hodge, Bennerman, and Tony Bethel. That was a big factor because of the early playing time. I did get to talk with Gavin Grant and Cedric Simmons, and I really clicked with them."

As the first commitment in NC State's '06 recruiting class, Holmes is now going to help the Wolfpack coaches land the best possible players to continue building a winning program. He's all about winning and feels that if they land one or two more of their coveted targets, NC State will be in great shape.

"I'm definitely going to help to recruit for them," Holmes said. "I'm always looking up stuff on other players, and I may try to get one of my good friends on my AAU team. Gary Clark is our point guard, and he's in the '07 class.

"NC State's recruiting Wayne Ellington and Scottie Reynolds, he was up there when I went to visit," he added. "Those are the two main guys that I know they are going after right now.

"It would be cool to play with those two and both of them are great players. We'd have a really good team if they come in with me and we join the players they got coming in now. I know Courntey Fells is a real good player, and he can really shoot the ball."

NC State beat out several top programs to land the talented Florida guard. NC State, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Tennessee, Georgia, and Xavier had already offered scholarships, and Wake Forest and Maryland were also showing interest. Holmes, who averaged over 22 points per game as a sophomore to lead St. Petersburg Catholic to the state finals, felt he could excel in NC State's offensive system, and that was a big factor in his decision.

"I like the offense a lot because you get to shoot the ball," he said. "Some people tried to tell me they don't run, but when I went to practice they really looked to push the ball up the court."

Even more importantly, Holmems feels those around him are also happy with him choosing NC State.

"My coach liked my decision, and my brother played a big part in this," he said. "He was a big Florida fan, so I'm surprised he wanted me to go to NC State. He was happy about what I wanted to do."

With his decision behind him, look for Holmes to now concentrate on leading his high school back to the state championship game. He says that his decision is final, and he'll be looking to visit NC State again in the near future.

"I'm just now ready to concentrate on high school because my decision's done," Holmes said. "I was looking to come up to State this Friday, but I don't think it will happen. I'm going to come up in the next few weeks and watch one of the early games though."


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