EAST LANSING – Gerald Holmes, a sophomore on the Michigan State University football team, has worked his way into the starting running back position for the Spartans.
Holmes began the season at No. 3 on the depth chart behind LJ Scott and Madre London but has shown just why he was one of coach Mark Dantonio’s top recruits in 2013, where he was redshirted.
At Carman-Ainsworth, Holmes was rated among the nation’s top running backs by Rivals.com (No. 45), Scout.com (No. 47) and 247Sports.com (No. 61). He was ranked among the nation’s Top 25 big backs by MaxPreps.com (No. 16), was listed among the Midwest’s top prospects by ESPN.com (No. 131) and was named to PrepStar’s All-Midwest Team. Holmes was rated among the state’s top seniors by the Lansing State Journal (No. 6), The Detroit News (No. 8), Detroit Free Press (No. 10), Rivals.com (No. 11), 247Sports.com (No. 11), Scout.com (No. 12) and ESPN.com (No. 20)
As a redshirt freshman in 2014, Holmes had 44 rushing yards on 15 carries in three games (Jacksonville State, Eastern Michigan and Ohio State) and had eight carries for 28 yards in his college debut against Jacksonville State.
In last week’s win over Maryland, Holmes tallied 83 yards on 13 carries and scored one touchdown. The week before at Nebraska, Holmes reached a career high 117 yards on 22 carries and scored one touchdown. He averages 5.3 yards per carry and grinds until the defense drags him down, often taking three or four players to stop his forward motion.
In eight games this season, Holmes had 392 yards on 79 attempts with six touchdowns. He also has five receptions on the season.
Holmes is projected to once again play a key starting role against Ohio State on Saturday. Kick-off is at 3:30 p.m. Look for No. 24 to line up behind quarterback Connor Cook often. It’s his role until someone else takes it away from him.