Mar. 21 -- Newbury Park (Calif.) '17 defensive back Darnay Holmes hit the road to check out several Big 12 programs with his Team 19 7v7 squad a week ago and said two schools in particular stood out...
is a tremendous talent and is on the short list when discussing the top overall prospect in the West region for the '17 class. He's a true shut down corner with a strong, powerful frame, elite athleticism, toughness and great ball skills.
We saw him over the weekend at the Pylon 7v7 tournament at Fullerton and even though his Team 19 struggled, Holmes was still a stand out. He's built like a tank at 5-10, 190 pounds and multiple times didn't allow his receiver to get off the line of scrimmage.
In off coverage, Holmes has a great natural feel for the position and doesn't get fooled. He has great feet, the recovery speed to turn and run with the fastest receivers and excellent timing in jump ball situations.
On the recruiting front, Holmes recently visited Texas A&M
and commented on each school.
Texas A&M- "That was a great visit. I liked the facilities a lot and enjoyed watching the team practice. They really got after it and I liked the intensity. The facilities were incredible, in the locker room, they actually have T.Vs in the mirrors. We were all talking about how much money they must have at A&M to have facilities like that."
Texas- "That was one of the best visits I've ever taken. I love the staff and the coaches keep it real with you. Coach Strong is a great man and I know if I went to UT, they would change me from a boy in to a man. They haven't offered yet but said they're going to be watching me closely this year and will be evaluating me all season."
Oklahoma- "I got offered on that trip so that was great. They have great history and great tradition at OU. I got to talk to Coach Stoops and all the coaches, tour the campus, see the dorms and get an academic tour as well. Norman is a big time football town and I'm definitely planning on visiting again."
Nebraska- "That was a great visit, I liked Nebraska and Texas the best. The whole staff showed us so much love and Coach Riley is a great man. The staff treated every one of us equally, no favoritism and that was really cool. We had a deep heart to hear with Coach Riley. He told us to make the best choice for us and do what's best for us. He didn't even say, 'you have to come here.' He just said do what you feel is best and wherever you go, play as hard as you can and represent your school well."
Locally, Holmes has already visited UCLA
and plans to check out USC
"UCLA was a great visit, me and my dad had a great time," Holmes said. "We toured the campus and then sat down and spent a lot of time with the coaches. I talked a lot with Coach Meat (Martin) and Coach Mora and I like those guys a lot. We talked a lot about the academics at UCLA and what classes I could take.
"Location doesn't matter to me at all but I really like the campus at UCLA and I know my family could see my any time. I felt very comfortable there, it felt like home and if I chose UCLA, I know they would take good care of me."
As for USC:
"I'm going to visit over spring break when the coaches are back," Holmes said. "I just talked with Coach Tuiasosopo a few days ago and he's a good guy. USC just had a big time recruiting class and they're telling me they're on the rise and are ready to win big again.
"They have a really good staff there and Kevon Seymour
is a close family friends and always keeps it real with me. When I visit, I'll be shadowing him for sure and I'm really excited to get up there and check things out."
Holmes said he's still open and not close to narrowing things down at all.
"I don't have any favorites, I'm open to everyone," Holmes said. "To be honest, I'm not even focusing on recruiting right now. I'm just enjoying being a kid and my main focus is on school and football. The biggest thing I'll be looking for when I do pick a school is academics.
"On all these visits, I always bring up the academics and what a degree means. I know football won't last forever so I'm always asking questions about school and what can we do to give back to the community. I want to major in business finance so I'm always asking about that and what kind of program they have.
"I do plan to make a pretty early decision, probably after my junior season. I won't play it out long, once I know where I want to go, I'll go ahead and commit. I have no clue where that will be right now but I'll start to focus more on schools and narrowing my list after the summer."