"If you throw it up, he'll pull it down"
GamecockAnthem.com spoke with South Pointe Head Coach Bobby Carroll following Holmes' commitment to the Gamecocks, and he believes South Carolina has gotten a player with tremendous natural ability and an enormous upside in Holmes.
"He's a great wide receiver. He's a big kid, has strong hands, and can run with it. He's just an all around, good receiver," said Carroll. "He's got an incredible vertical jump (38.5 inches). He's got some range, and he's a tall kid with long limbs. He's just a natural athlete. The good Lord looked after him and blessed him with some good ability. He's going to develop into a very good football player."
With such a special combination of size and athleticism at the receiver position, Carroll said Holmes has a knack for excelling in jump-ball situations and has made several highlight-reel catches during his time at South Pointe.
"If you throw it up, he'll pull it down. Not all of them, but for the most part he comes down with it. I've seen him just make some incredible catches in crowds of people. He's just a good weapon to have on your team."
The interesting story behind Holmes' evolution as a football player is that the South Pointe staff didn't realize just how big of a weapon he could be until last season when the Stallions needed to throw the ball late in the game against South Aiken.
"Early last year we ran the ball for around 350 to 400 yards (per game) and didn't throw the ball at all. Then we went down to South Aiken and got in a nail-biter down there and had to throw the ball. We kind of discovered that Charles can catch it and run with it. From that point on, he really helped us out and opened the running game up because defenses had to keep their eyes on (Charles). He's just an all-around good receiver and a big playmaker."
Holmes ended up catching 44 passes for nearly 1,000 yards and 6 touchdowns in his junior season. However, Carroll has little doubt that he'll be a bigger part of the South Pointe offense this fall, and he even believes that the athletic receiver will get strong consideration for some postseason all-star games.
"There's no doubt he'll (have a bigger year this season). We run the option, and that opens up passes because they have to commit somebody in the secondary to the run. He's definitely going to be a big threat for us, and he's going to make a lot of plays," he said. "I really believe he'll have a shot at some of the all-star games."
While Holmes is already an elite receiving threat on the high school level, Carroll says he's only scratched the surface of his potential. When Holmes, also a standout basketball player, is able to focus all of his attention on football in college, Carroll believes he'll develop into a special player for the Gamecocks.
"He's going to have to learn a lot of those double moves and work to run crisper routes. But being in college where he's going to be able to concentrate on football and not be playing three leagues of basketball, he's going to mature and he'll end up being a great receiver at South Carolina."
On the recruiting front, Holmes only had a few offers to his credit before deciding to end his recruitment and give his commitment to South Carolina. However, it was Holmes' academic hurdles that kept many schools from stepping forward with an offer, not his ability on the field. According to Carroll, several major college programs expressed interest in the star receiver when scouting South Pointe over the last year.
"He's had a bunch of people interested in him. Southern Cal's asked me about him, and every coach that walks on that field asks about him."
Carroll believes it might have been a mistake for other programs to pass on offering Holmes. While South Carolina has accepted his commitment with the knowledge that he'll likely be a sign-and-place candidate at Fork Union, Carroll says it isn't out of the realm of possibility for Holmes to qualify out of high school.
"Charles is a good kid. He made the ‘B' honor roll in school this last semester. The capability is there. He's just going to have to put it all together. He may double up on some stuff (in his senior year). I think he's got a chance to qualify. That's the thing about block scheduling - you can take eight courses. You can take online courses, and he can take courses right up until the time he reports to camp. He's got a chance."
Holmes, who consistently runs a 4.55 second forty yard dash, was a part of the first freshman class at South Pointe in 2005. He and teammates Stephon Gilmore and Devin Wherry, along with newcomer Devonte Holloman, will give the Stallions a formidable senior class that's ready to make a run at the 4A state championship this fall.
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