Incoming Irish: Corey Holmes

It has been almost 10 years since Corey Holmes scored his first touchdown but the memory is so vivid for him that it could easily have been last week.

He was either eight or nine years old, he can't remember which, and he lined up at wide receiver. It was his first football game, but he still ran a perfect corner route to elude the cover. Then he wrestled the ball from the defender and sprinted 35 yards for a touchdown. Not bad for his first game.

"You always remember your first touchdown and I remember that one like it was yesterday," Holmes said. "After that I kind of knew that I was a good football player."

In a way not much has changed for Holmes since hauling in that first pass; those skills he showed as a youngster just grew and grew until he had offers from almost every power conference in America. The six foot two, 176-pound receiver from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Florida eventually chose Notre Dame, citing the college's strong academics as a big factor in his decision and he hopes to major in communications.

Maybe it shouldn't be a surprise that Holmes instantly took to the game of football because he comes from strong lineage. His father, David Holmes, played college football as a defensive back for Syracuse University and was drafted by the Miami Dolphins. And besides a couple of half joking attempts to persuade his son to catch passes for the Orange, Holmes' father mainly counsels him about on field matters.

"My father has NFL experience so he has been a big help to me during my career," Holmes said. "He has given me some tips on how to exploit weaknesses in defenders in certain situations."

Holmes can't wait to make new friends from all over the country at Notre Dame and he is looking forward to showcasing his skills, which he says include getting separation and making yards after the catch. And down the road, Holmes wants to be a part of the Florida State game and not just because they are reigning champions.

"I am from Florida and I know people on the team so that will be a cool game," Holmes said. "And it will be nice to have the bragging rights in Florida when I go home."

If you hear that a football player is talented you usually look at their game film or their 40-yard dash time. But not all football players' talent relates to on field prowess. Eli Manning juggles and Baltimore Ravens tight end Owen Daniels is a qualified weatherman. Corey Holmes' talent is drawing. He says he has a special gift for drawing people, but he rejects my suggestion of presenting head coach Brian Kelly with a hand drawn portrait to get some early playing time.

"Most people don't know it but I am very good at drawing," Holmes said. "I am always drawing graffiti in my notebook but I am really good at portraits too."

Despite having a photographic memory of his first touchdown, there is one other achievement that rivals it for Holmes. He is a self-confessed ‘sneakerhead' and has been collecting shoes for years. In fact, when asked he isn't even sure how many pairs he has hoarded.

"Man, I don't even know how many pairs I have but I am going to check right now because I want to know too," Holmes said before beginning to calculate how many pairs he has amassed in his sneaker empire. About 30 seconds of barely audible counting followed. "I have 39 pairs. Wait no, actually 41. I've been collecting them for years and I am going to add to it as I get older." Top Stories