Holmes: strengths and areas for developmentThe first minute of film indicates Holmes is a natural receiver, not merely a superior athlete playing the position…Shows consistent concentration with the ball in the air and a defender in tow…In the immortal words of former Irish assistant Bob Diaco, Holmes possesses an "extended catch radius." In other words, at 6'2" with long arms, a quarterback can miss by several feet, but Holmes can go get the football…Adjusts well to poorly thrown ball, even high and behind him…Notre Dame's oft-referenced route concepts (they rarely run pre-meditated routes, but rather, read the defense) won't be difficult for Holmes to pick up -- he already understands spacing, setting up a defensive back with subtle fakes, and using leverage…
Knows how to find a hole in underneath zones -- could be a chain-mover by his sophomore season in South Bend…A 39-inch vertical leap might allow Holmes to join sophomore Corey Robinson as fade route weapons anywhere on the field when the Irish face man coverage…
High points the football similarly to current Irish sophomore Will Fuller…Runs easily and gracefully under a deep pass -- doesn't slow to catch or break stride in mild traffic…Naturally elusive and fluid; effortless gait…Faced outstanding competition but constantly looked the part as the matchup's best playmaker, both with the football in the open field and running routes between the hashes…Doesn't mind contact downfield and more important, doesn't flinch reaching for a pass with defenders closing in…Keeps his head steady at full speed and takes very little effort to reach top speed…
Not yet a tackle-breaker. He likely needs lower-body strength to run through defenders in the college game…At 6'2" and sub-180, needs ballast to survive four consecutive months of a season's grind…The aforementioned Fuller played well in spots as a true freshman last fall and was more slightly built than is Holmes...
Road blocks to playing timeEight of them, not including 5th-year senior Luke Massa who'll work with receivers, quarterbacks, and as the team's holder.
Holmes joins a well-tiered but exceptionally deep group of receivers:
- Senior DaVaris Daniels (eligible through 2015)
- Juniors Chris Brown (eligible through 2015), and C.J. Prosise (2016)
- Sophomores Corey Robinson (2016), Will Fuller (2016), James Onwualu (2016), and Torii Hunter, Jr. (2017)
- Fellow freshman Justin Brent (already on campus)
Holmes will enter camp well behind his competitors including the early enrollee Brent. A redshirt-season is possible though any injury opens the door to playing time as head coach Brian Kelly showed last season he was willing to go seven-deep in many contests. Eight isn't out of the question.
Holmes' frame could use a season in the weight room but his overall skill set might force early action as the natural target enters with a well-rounded pass-catching skill set and acumen for the position.
Reminiscent of… Former Irish wide receiver Tony Smith (1988-91).
Andrew Trumbetti Film Review
Justin Brent Film Review