Holmes Sweet Holmes

One of the most interested observers in tonight's Tennessee-LSU showdown just may just be the biggest prize in the junior college ranks — a player that could step into either team's starting lineup next fall and have a lot of say when the Vols and Tigers face off in Knoxville.

At 6-foot-6, 270 pounds and with 4.6 speed, Louis Holmes of Scottsdale Community College in Arizona, is the classic freak of nature. He's big enough to play defensive tackle and fast enough to play defensive end or even a rush linebacker.

He originally signed with Ohio State but failed to qualify and went the prep school/JC route. He's on course to graduate in December and will have two years to play two seasons. Tennessee and LSU are two of his five finalists along with Arizona, USC and Oklahoma.

Holmes made an unofficial visit to Baton Rouge in July and has an official visit scheduled there for Nov. 25. He is slated for an official trip to USC on Oct. 8. The Vols will need to make a good impression in tonight's contest to close the gap on this super athlete who attended Memphis Treadwell High School until he moved following his sophomore season to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., where he played at Dillard High School.

At stake is an impact Junior College player on the order of a Jesse Mahelona. As a freshman, at Scottsdale CC Holmes recorded a remarkable 102 tackles with 11 sacks, 14 hurries and an interception. He could become the type of dominating pass rusher off the edge the Vols have been seeking since Leonard Little and Shaun Ellis terrorized QBs for UT.

In addition to his amazing combination of size and speed, Holmes has a 38-inch vertical leap and very quick feet. He's also strong, as his 390-pound bench press and 520-pound lift in the squat clearly attest.

Holmes currently has some 40 offers from high-profile programs across the country and said he's looking for a unique opportunity. The born again student indicates academics will play a major role in his decision.

He certainly has the credentials to take any offensive lineman to school.

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