Ever since Urban Meyer took over the Ohio State football program, the Buckeyes have been going after a lot more elite out of state talents. This was definitely the case for Norfolk (VA) Lake Taylor defensive end Jalyn Holmes, who surprised many when he committed to the Buckeyes early last summer.
Take a trip down memory lane and find out what kind of early impact he could have for the Buckeyes, as we bring you "Bucks to the Future", the Jalyn Holmes story.
Weight: 225 pounds
247Sports Composite: Number four weak-side defensive end, fourth ranked player in the state of Virginia, and 80th best player in the 2014 recruiting class.
High School: Lake Taylor High School, Norfolk, Virginia
Holmes' recruitment got started after a strong sophomore campaign where he totaled 60 tackles, 13 of which came for loss, to go along with five sacks. In the winter of 2012, he picked up his first two scholarship offers from in state powers Virginia and Virginia Tech.
Soon after receiving those two offers, he visited the two in state schools. He also picked up offers from the likes of Miami, Maryland, and Vanderbilt before the summer camp season kicked off. Really the only summer offer Holmes landed was from Clemson, which he earned after a strong camp performance in Death Valley.
During his junior campaign, where he tallied 79 tackles (40 for loss) and eleven sacks, Holmes scored scholarship offers from the likes of USC and Miami. He also made the trip to Blacksburg in order to check out Virginia Tech towards the end of his season. He had yet to receive an offer from the Buckeyes at this point in his recruitment.
A couple of months after wrapping up his football season, a flurry of offers came his way from the like of Florida, Ohio State, Florida State, West Virginia, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Penn State, Tennessee, and a couple of smaller schools.
After receiving all of those offers, he set a visit to Chapel Hill to see what North Carolina had to offer. He enjoyed his visit there, but the Tar Heel were never a major player in his recruitment despite being a school that's pretty close to his home in Virginia.
Near the end of May, Holmes trimmed his list to schools down to three. Clemson, Florida State, and Ohio State were the three schools with the good fortune to make the cut for the star defender. He also set summer visits to his three finalists, with the first one being a visit to Clemson.
Before taking this visits, Holmes was one of a select few recruits who received an invitation to participate in the Rivals 100 challenge.
Finally it was time for him to take visits to his top three schools, with the first visit being to Death Valley to check out Clemson for a second time. The week after the visit, it was time for him to make his first visit to Ohio State, the visit that would eventually end his recruitment.
Heading into his mid-June visit to Ohio State, almost everybody thought he was leaning pretty heavily towards the Florida State Seminoles, whom he grew up cheering for. Some even thought the Buckeyes were in third behind Clemson. One thing that could certainly be said is almost nobody though this visit would end with the Buckeyes scoring a commitment from Holmes.
Holmes arrived in Columbus on June 18th and was tweeting very positive things about his visit and Ohio State. Still I didn't think we would see a commitment on the visit. Well that quickly changed as he told the staff he wanted to be a Buckeye and committed.
Unfortunately the news of his commitment broke a little before he wanted it to break and he took to Twitter and told the masses he had not committed. I'm sure he just wanted to notify rival coaches of his decision before he made a public announcement.
On June 20th, 2013, just a day after he arrived home from his visit, he publicly committed to Ohio State, becoming the 11th member of the Dream 14 recruiting class. He would eventually get bumped up to the 10th official member of the class as Lonnie Johnson de-committed a couple of months later.
Just a couple of weeks after officially committing to Ohio State, Holmes flew out to Beaverton, Oregon, in order to participate in Nike's "The Opening" along with most of the nation's top players and many of his future Buckeye teammates.
After participating in The Opening not too much happened in his recruitment prior to the start of his senior season of high school football. His main focus was on helping his team defend their State Championship- which unfortunately fell short in the end.
Holmes made his official visit to Ohio State on October 26th, where he watched the Scarlet and Gray demolish Penn State under the lights at the 'Shoe. This would be his last trip to Columbus before signing his national letter of intent.
His recruitment didn't end without a little drama. Following the departure of defensive line coach Mike Vrabel, Holmes texted me and many others that he had "no comment" on the matter. Worries of a potential de-commitment were quickly put to rest following his in home visit with head coach Urban Meyer and wide receivers coach Zach Smith, who was his primary recruiter.
A couple of weeks later, Holmes signed his letter of intent and faxed it to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, officially becoming a member of the Ohio State football team.
I really like Holmes' upside, but think he needs to add a little bit of strength to his frame in order to fulfill his whole potential. With that being said, I doubt he redshirts and should see some playing time this year.
In past years, with Mike Vrabel coaching the defensive line, there's a chance he would redshirt. However, with Larry Johnson now running the defensive line, he could see some significant time since Johnson likes to use a lot of linemen in his rotation.
Now obviously Holmes won't be a star off the bat, but as he develops, there's a chance he can turn into an elite pass rusher for the Scarlet and Gray.
Here's what Land-Grant Holy Land football analyst Christopher Jason had to say about Holmes shortly after his signed his national letter of intent.
Holmes is a very lanky, pass rushing, defensive end prospect. He played as a stand-up defensive end in high school and used his speed/quickness to get by opposing offensive tackles. Holmes has quite a bit of upside on the defensive line once he fills out his 6'5 frame, and I expect him to be a solid pass rusher with a devastating spin move as he gets more experience under his belt.
Did you know...
- Holmes lead his high school to a state championship as a junior.
- Holmes will be a defensive end at the college level, but some might not know that he was a very good tight end in high school – good enough to play it at the next end even.