In his weekly recruiting column, Dudley E. Dawson catches up with 2009 Batesville prospect Price Holmes, who is using the South Regional and Saturday's FCA Combine in Little Rock to get his name out.
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Batesville standout Price Holmes III is well-known in his area as an outstanding athlete, but is just beginning to become noticed by Division I college scouts.
Events such as the South Regional Football Combine held March 1 in Springdale and this Saturday’s FCA Combine at War Memorial Stadium are helping the quarterback turned defensive end in that regard.
He’s also been invited to Arkansas’ Junior Day slated for April 26.
“I am trying to get to as many of these type events as I can to help get my name out there and also learn from the people who are on hand and that have had great success in the past,” Holmes said.
Holmes (6-4, 200), who had 76 tackles, 6 pass deflections, 5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery his junior season, certainly got the attention of National Scouting Report’s Brad Corbitt at the South Regional Combine.
“One thing about him is he just has incredible timing at that defensive end spot,” Corbitt said. “He seems to be in the right place at the right time. He gets a hand on a lot of passes. He also ran a 4.25 shuttle at my combine so he has got the speed to back it up. He’s also just a tough-nosed kid.”
Holmes, also a gifted baseball player but leaning toward the gridiron as his college choice right now, has been getting some interest from a variety of schools – including Arkansas.
“I have received a couple of letters from Yale and Army and talked with Tulsa, but I want to play for the Razorbacks,” Holmes said. “I am a home grown guy.”
Holmes is anxious to get to meet the new UA coaching staff at the junior day, including head coach Bobby Petrino.
“I know that he runs a real explosive offense and I know that he will definitely put some numbers up on the board,” Holmes said. “He has put a very good staff together. I don’t know much about the defensive coordinator, but I hear he is a good coach.”
Holmes is friends with the daughter of former Arkansas and current Tulsa assistant Gus Malzahn and laughed when asked if he was working that angle.
“Tulsa is a good school and I will definitely consider it,” Holmes said. “I met Coach Malzahn, he has a really good family, he’s got a great daughter and is a really good guy.”
Holmes, who transferred from Newport before his sophomore season, has enjoyed his transition from quarterback for the Greypups to defensive end for the Pioneers.
“I like playing defensive end because since I made the switch from quarterback I can read what their quarterback is going to do, throw the ball, pump fake and it allows me to be able to make the play,” Holmes said.
“I miss quarterback a little bit because you get the glamour, the media, the newspaper headlines and write-ups, but I like defense more,” Holmes added. “We can control the game on that side.”
Holmes hopes to add about 20 pounds or so over the summer.
“I want to pack on a few pounds and get up to the 220 range by next season,” Holmes said. “I think that would be a big help to me.”
Batesville – once arch-rival Newport’s punching bag during a 20-plus year losing streak to the Greyhounds – has become one of the state’s top football programs over the last couple of decades.
“I think our coaches are great and they make us work hard for everything we get,” Holmes said. “We work all summer, every day and it’s a year-round thing.”
Holmes expects Batesville, which finished 7-4 last season and is 51-10-1 in the past five years, to have a quality program again this season.
“We have three, three-year starters and we have a very strong senior class,” Holmes said. “I think if we continue to work hard over the summer, we can have a great year.”