Devilish two-year runs lands Muir's Karl Holmes Jr. at PCC
Football: Former Muir High standout receiver returns to Pasadena after never taking a snap at Arizona State.
The redshirt freshman wide receiver announced his intention to enroll at Pasadena City College this fall and become part of the Lancers football program.
Holmes Jr. was a Pacific League first-team wide receiver his senior season at Muir in 2010 and received a full scholarship to Arizona State after hauling in 23 receptions for 628 yards (27.30 yards-per-catch average) and six touchdowns.
After participating on the scout team and redshirting his first season in 2011, Holmes Jr. was dealt what turned out to be a devastating blow when Sun Devils Coach Dennis Erickson was fired in November of 2011.
“Coach Erickson was the guy who recruited me, who believed in me and thought I was something special,” Holmes Jr. said. “I wasn’t an All-American or anything big coming out of high school, but he thought I could be an important player in his system.”
Erickson’s vision wasn’t shared by his successor, former Pittsburgh Coach Todd Graham, who was hired in December.
Holmes Jr. did not see one snap in 2012 under Graham and said he spoke to the Sun Devils coach at the conclusion of the season.
“I had a meeting with coach after [the Fight Hunger Bowl] and he told me ‘We didn’t recruit you and you’re not the type of guy who will play in our system,’” Holmes Jr. said. “I told him that if they weren’t going to play me, if they could at least release me.”
Holmes Jr. claims that Graham said he would not release the Altadena native to any schools within the Pac-12 and Big-12 conferences and blocked a transfer to the University of Houston that would have reunited Holmes Jr. with his former ASU receiving coach Jamie Christian.
“My options are really limited because some of the schools that I was interested in going to, like Illinois, were restricted,” Holmes Jr. said. “So, it’s just better to go to a junior college and then be unrestricted after the fall.”
Arizona State spokesman Mark Brand responded to Holmes Jr.’s claims Friday afternoon.
“It’s just standard procedure for a student-athlete, whether in golf, football, tennis, track or any sport to deny a transfer to a Pac-12 school. That’s standard at every school. No school wants to have a former athlete play against you in the future,” Brand said.
In regards to claims about Graham’s refusal to allow Holmes to transfer to Houston or any school outside the PAC-12, Brand labeled such allegations as “inaccurate.”
After the fall semester of 2012, Holmes Jr. enrolled at California community college football power Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut.
“It’s the best JUCO program in California and part of the reason for me wanting to go there was for coaches and scouts to come out and see me,” Holmes Jr. said.
Yet, Holmes Jr. said his decision to attend Pasadena City in the fall is based on playing time.
“I just think I’m going to be needed more at Pasadena,” Holmes Jr. said. “I plan to have a monster year and living in Pasadena, it’s just so much closer.”
Holmes Jr.’s declaration was cautiously welcomed by PCC Coach Fred Fimbres.
“I think there’s a lot of upside to having a young man like Karl come and participate as a Division I bounce back,” Fimbres said. “However, until Karl shows up on campus, I don’t really feel comfortable saying that he’s coming here. I’d like to see him here, but he’s currently addressing that issue.”
Fimbres envisions Holmes Jr. serving as a catalyst for other Division I bounce-back athletes.
“I believe PCC can serve young men like Karl, locals who are looking to reestablish themselves,” Fimbres said.
Over the last few months, Holmes Jr. has remerged in the recruiting scene, having received offers from Idaho, Illinois and Sacramento State, while picking up an offer from BYU two days ago.
“I haven’t played in a game since high school, but I really don’t have anything to prove to anyone,” Holmes Jr. said. “My film shows my skill level and I know where I’m at. I’m not mad at the coaches at ASU or anything. I understand it’s a business. I just want to represent myself and my city.”