One of 11 Ohio State players to get an invite to the 2018 NFL Combine, defensive lineman Jalyn Holmes spoke to reporters on Saturday and talked about how playing for the Buckeyes helped mold him into an NFL-caliber player. The former captain also talked about coming face-to-face with Baker Mayfield after he planted the OU flag in The ‘Shoe and how most NFL teams are asking what the majority of Buckeye Nation has also been asking since Nov. 4, “How did Ohio State lose to Iowa?”
The Virginia native chose to go away from home to play college ball, but it hasn’t been a decision he’s regretted. He talked about having a chance to learn three-technique from players like Joey Bosa and Adolphus Washington, but also how the coaching staff put a focus on more than just on-field development.
“Probably one of the best decisions I ever made in my entire life. I feel like the people at that program really developed me into a man. Being a team captain at Ohio State this past year has probably been one of my biggest accomplishments and I thank everybody there to help me get to that point.”
Holmes said that he doesn’t think his on-field play was a factor in him earning the honor to be a captain for his senior season, but rather showing his teammates respect and leading by example. One of the reasons that he gained confidence over the past few seasons was thanks to working with former NFL head coach Greg Schiano. Being successful in the Ohio State system makes Holmes confidant that he can also succeed at the next level.
“It was a great experience. An NFL coach, it felt like an NFL coach. It felt like every coach we had at Ohio State, they treated you like an NFL team. Ohio State was a mini-NFL team in a way. When I go to these NFL teams now, we talk it’s the same deal. I learned them traits at Ohio State to act like a professional there. So when I come here, it’s second nature.”
The Buckeye was asked about QB Baker Mayfield planting the Oklahoma flag in Ohio Stadium during their early-season win. While it seems like the prospect is willing to let bygones be bygones, he also admits, “Me and Tyquan, we weren’t playing,” when they met him face-to-face after the stunt.
“I haven’t seen him here. Just the whole thing with the flag, just walked up to him and asked him what was his problem. It was all good. We laughed it off. We’ve been cool since then.”
And finally, the narrative that just won’t die: How Ohio State could lose to Iowa in 2017? Holmes was asked if any NFL team had brought up that game, and the Buckeye admitted, “Every NFL team asks me about the Iowa game.” Unfortunately, Holmes has no more answers than the rest of us for how the Buckeyes could fall to the Hawkeyes.
“I just look at them [arms raised] and I don’t know what happened. I’m still trying to find those answers out.
They played the best game of their life. That’s all it is. We didn’t come to play that day. They came to play. I feel they played the best game of their life and the score showed.”