Holmes Working to Re-Establish Trust

Lendy Holmes let more than himself down last semester when he failed to keep his academic eligibility. Now the Sooner is trying to re-establish the trust with his coaches and teammates while honing his skills at free safety.

With the Sooners having to replace a lot of experience in the defensive backfield, one of the Sooners who has the most playing time under his belt is one who might have to prove himself the most.

Off the field, that is.

Lendy Holmes has once again been catching the eye of coaches, teammates and even former teammates.

"I think Lendy Holmes is ready to have a breakout year," former Sooner Marcus Walker said last week after taking in Oklahoma's first two practices of the spring. "I think he will."

Holmes, who came in as a receiver, then was moved to cornerback, has maybe found a home in this third position, free safety, where he returns to play a second year.

However, Holmes may as well be an incoming freshman when it comes to having trust established.

Before last season's Fiesta Bowl, it was announced Holmes was academically ineligible and that he wouldn't play in the bowl game.

Since then, Holmes has been working to not only get his grades up, but the trust from coaches as well.

"It's been really hard for me," he said on Wednesday after the Sooners' spring practice. "With spring (practice) going on, I'm trying to let that be in the past, but I'm still trying to make sure I get all my trust back."

He's made strides, but his status isn't what it was even a year ago.

"I think I'm still working on it," he said.

To get on track to graduate again, Holmes said he's taking an increased class load this semester. He realizes he messed up and he knows what he has to do to fix it.

"I just have to make sure I get straight and squared away," he said.

With Nic Harris not taking part in spring, Holmes is by far the most experienced Sooner in the backfield.

"So far it's going really good," he said. "They're young guys so they haven't had all the playing experience, but they're back there, they're really hustling to the ball and trying to get all the calls down."

In 13 games in 2007, Holmes was sixth on the team with 73 tackles. He also had three interceptions and broke up three other passes. He'll be the team's second-leading returning tackler behind Harris, who was fifth with 74 in 14 games.

Holmes realizes he's still a work in progress.

"My technique," he said when asked where he needs to improve. "Coach (Bobby Jack) Wright always gets on me about that. Also, how to disguise things. But mainly everything about technique and how to be disciplined."

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