Reviewing the Redshirts is an off-season series meant to resurrect discussion around the current Irish freshmen who did not play in 2014.
There were 11 players this past year who retained a year of eligibility and today we take a look at a smooth receiver from Florida working his way up the depth chart.
WR, Corey Holmes
Hometown: Pembroke Pines, Florida
Height: 6-0 1/2
247Sports COMPOSITE RANKING:
4-star, No. 27 WR, No. 26 FL, No. 179 USA, 0.9233 Score
Need at Position: Low
Expected Spot on 2015 Depth Chart: 7th Receiver
Any time you can welcome a player off one of the top high school programs in the country you have to be happy. So it was when Corey Holmes came to Notre Dame out of St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Here are my remarks on Holmes following last year's National Signing Day:
Holmes looks like a lanky possession receiver to me. He doesn't look like someone who is going to come in and battle for playing time right away but I thought that about a couple freshmen last year too and was proven wrong. He's a smooth runner. Almost seems to glide across the field with his long legs. I like the way he works in traffic but he'll have to improve his speed and quickness if he's going to excel in the screen game like he did in high school. I'm not sure what his potential is and I'd like to see him put on some weight. He looks awfully thin for someone 6'3" and after re-shaping his body I think we might see a completely different player a year or two down the road. Holmes is a nice compliment to Brent in this class.
I'm usually as cynical as they come when reading measurements on recruits so I'm surprised to see I thought Holmes was 6-3. Especially when all 4 major sites--and Notre Dame's initial NSD roster--had Holmes at 6-2. I have no idea why I would have added an inch to my assessment.
Holmes has long limbs, with a skinny neck, so he did appear quite tall as a recruit. This led to a million comparisons of Holmes being a "lankier T.J. Jones." However, we've found out now that Holmes isn't quite as tall as everyone believed as he's listed just over 6-0 by UND.com.
Like upperclassman T.J. Jones, we've seen Corey Holmes remain as an outside receiver although he lacks ideal size out there. Since he's not as tall as we thought those 184 pounds isn't outrageously skinny. Still, another 10 pounds would be ideal and remember there's still plenty of time to get bigger. This time next year I'd expect those extra pounds to start making a difference.
When Kelly spoke about Holmes at last year's NSD presser he mentioned words such as "precise route runner", "mature player", "great fit for Notre Dame" and then compared him to, you guessed it, T.J. Jones.
Holmes saw action on special teams against Rice and Michigan last year then sat the rest of the season to preserve his redshirt. This spring he's been holding steady on the second-team receiving corps. So is there an opportunity to see quality playing time this year?
I think it's unlikely.
Kelly's offense utilizes a lot of receivers but it's really not that many bodies. Most seasons the 6th wideout is the last contributor and is looking at less than 10 receptions. To me, Holmes is right on that border heading into 2015. For now Fuller, Brown, Robinson, Prosise, Carlisle, and Hunter are all clearly higher on the depth chart. That makes Holmes 7th and that's assuming he holds off Brent or any of the incoming freshmen.
True, in terms of outside receivers Holmes could be 5th in line and one injury away from backup minutes. But if that were to happen I'd bet on the offense tightening up and relying on a smaller group of receivers and not dipping too much into the depth among the redshirt freshmen and true freshmen.
One thing is clear, the coaching staff really respects Holmes off the field and once he gains more consistency in practice there will be more opportunities to make an impact in the lineup.