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October 26, 2005

Holmes: No. 1 JUCO interested

In last week's Recruiting Rumor Mill we mentioned Scottsdale Community College defensive lineman Louis Holmes as a potential target of the Gators. Florida has been in contact with the nation's top rated JUCO prospect and he is interested in what they have to offer.

The 6-foot-6, 280-pound end is one of the most physically imposing prospects available this season sporting a 435 pound bench press to go with his sub-4.7 speed and 35 inch vertical jump.

Holmes signed with Ohio State coming out of Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) Dillard high school. After failing to obtain the necessary SAT score, he attended Bridgton (Maine) Academy before moving on to Scottsdale.

"When I left prep school, my trainer was living in Scottsdale and they needed players to help turn the program around so I came out here."

He has excelled at Scottsdale to the point that he is regarded as a 5-star prospect, the No. 1 rated JUCO player in the nation according to Rivals.com.

While there's no chance of him returning to Columbus and the Buckeyes, he does have an impressive list of suitors in mind.

"Southern Cal, Florida, Tennessee, LSU, Arizona and Oklahoma. You know I have some big schools recruiting me pretty hard.

"I'm looking at all the schools recruiting me. One school doesn't really stand out more than the others. They've all offered me."

With offers from many national powers, it's easy to see why he was named to the NJCAA Preseason All-American Team. It's not just his offer list that is impressive. Last year as a freshman he recorded over 100 tackles and 10 sacks.

According to Holmes, he can line up just about anywhere on defense other than the secondary.

"My thing is I'm balanced. When I need to speed rush I can do that and when I need to power over someone I can use my bull-rush. I play the run and the pass the same.

"At the school I'm at right now I play strong-end, but sometimes I flip over and play rush-end, I move inside to the three technique and sometimes I play some linebacker too."

Although he has lived in both Tennessee (Memphis) and Florida (Ft. Lauderdale), he said that returning to either of those states isn't a recruiting priority.

"I don't really care about location. I just to go somewhere that's going to be the best fit for me. Where I can come in and play and be developed enough to help me get to the league.

"Depth charts really don't matter to me. I feel like if I work hard and do what I'm supposed to do, I'll start wherever I go."

As far as official visits are concerned, he's been on one, has one other date set in stone and is certain of another.

"I've been to SC (Southern Cal) already . I'm going to LSU on the 25th of November and then I'm going to Florida for sure. My other two may be Oklahoma and Tennessee, I'm not sure, I'm calling out schools off the top of my head. I'm going to have to take them all before mid-December, I do know that."

The reason he is on such a condensed schedule is that he is a December graduate and will sign with the college of his choice mid-term. In time to go through spring drills.

The one thing that has stood out to him in the recruiting process thus far, is the coaching staffs.

These are the men he will be depending on to help him get to the next level and he said that he has a good feeling about several of them.

"I have a good relationship with all the coaches at SC. They really have three coaches recruiting me. Coach Carroll, Jethro Franklin and coach Burns. Coach Dunbar (LSU) is another coach I like and feel comfortable with. And I know coach Holliday from when I was in high school. Florida got in the picture a little more not too long ago. They've been recruiting me but now they're showing me more interest."

Last week, in a Q&A with InsidetheGators.net recruiting coordinator Chuck Heater, laid out the three main criteria for the Gators to show interest in a JUCO prospect:

"What we're looking for is a Florida kid, a difference maker and does he want to come back to Florida. Any kid that fits those demographics, we'll take a look at them regardless of position."

Holmes certainly fits the mold.

Watch 35 video highlights of Louis Holmes by clicking here.


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