Syracuse Still Leads for Holmes

Mike Holmes

There's not much that goes with second place when it comes to college recruiting, and that's where Indiana finds itself with Jacksonville, Fla., athlete Michael Holmes.

There's not much that goes with second place when it comes to college recruiting, and that's where Indiana finds itself with Jacksonville, Fla., athlete Mike Holmes.

The 5-10, 185-pound running back/defensive back from Mandarin H.S. was in Bloomington for an official visit over the weekend, the third and presumably final stop for the talented athlete. But with officials to IU, Syracuse and Iowa now under his belt, it's Syracuse that remains his favorite.

"I'm really just considering Indiana and Syracuse," Holmes said, "and Syracuse is still my favorite."

During his visit to Bloomington, Holmes was hosted by his former high school teammate, Kellen Lewis, whom he played with during the 2003 and 2004 seasons at Mandarin. At the time Lewis was the team's quarterback, while Holmes was Mandarin's starting free safety.

Holmes said it was good to see his old friend during the visit.

"It made me feel really comfortable hanging out with (Kellen)," said Holmes, who rated the Indiana visit an ‘8' on a scale of 1-10. "I got a chance to meet the players, see the campus and the facilities and find out how things are up there."

But Indiana hasn't managed to surpass Syracuse just yet in Holmes' mind.

"At Syracuse, I love the coaching staff, the atmosphere and the players," Holmes said. "I think their program is going up the next couple of years. I feel it's a great place."

Wherever he winds up, it's a good bet Holmes will wind up in the defensive backfield. Indiana and Syracuse are both recruiting him as an athlete, based on his background in the secondary and the fact he rushed for more than 2,200 yards during the last two seasons as a tailback. But his size (5-10, 180) and speed (4.5 in the 40) make him an intriguing candidate as a cornerback.

Holmes said he plans to announce his decision in the next two weeks.

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