Troy’s Holmes emerging as deep threat

Published 7:58 pm Wednesday, September 18, 2013

By Danielle Percival

Most Troy Trojan fans know by now about the ability of wide receiver Eric Thomas to make spectacular grabs, but there’s one Troy receiver whose talents are just beginning to be recognized.

Sophomore wide-out Bryan Holmes has shown fans, coaches and teammates the speed and ability he possesses on the field.

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“He can run with the best of them,” quarterback Corey Robinson said. “We all knew he was hopefully going to have a breakout year this year and he’s got a good start. Hopefully it will continue and carry on.”

Holmes is currently second on the team in receptions and receiving yards with 13 grabs through three games for 200 yards.

Entering this season, Holmes had one reception for six yards in his career.

“I think I could’ve done more last year but I played behind a great guy, Chip Reeves,” Holmes said. “I didn’t think anything negative about it. I just kept working.”

His work has been evident not only during the season but also in his preparation for 2013.

“You could see it in his eyes all summer that he wanted to make a difference on this football team and he’s got the skill set to do it,” Robinson said.

“He’s playing like he’s capable of playing, things he’s shown all spring and fall camp,” offensive coordinator Kenny Edenfield said. “We’ve seen him make a lot of plays and finishing plays and doing what we recruited him to do.”

Against Arkansas State, Holmes had 6 receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown.

It was his first career 100-yard game, but that mark is one he expects to hit often.

“I know what I can do out there,” Holmes said. “I think I can pretty much do it every week and make big plays every game.”

Holmes redshirted his first season at Troy in 2011 and saw time in 10 of 12 games for Troy last year.

“It’s taken him a while to get to where he is now,” head coach Larry Blakeney said. “I hope he’s confident and continues to make those kind of plays.”

Holmes isn’t the only standout receiver for the Trojans. Thomas leads the team with 260 yards and 5 touchdowns this season and is only four shy of tying the Sun Belt Conference career touchdown receptions record.

“He’ll surprise you now. People act like he’s not a speed guy but he can run,” Edenfield said. “He makes a lot of body catches with people around him.”

Both receivers have speed and talent but their similarities go further than the football field.

“Folks kind of get us mixed up,” Thomas said. “They call him Eric and call me him a lot.”

“Most of the time we just tell them that we’re brothers,” Holmes said.

Though their strengths may be in different areas, that’s what makes a solid team.

“It’s ideal to have great players. They come in different sizes and different packages,” Edenfield said. “When you make plays in this offense you’ve got the opportunity to make big plays.”