Miami Hurricanes want speed, and transferring WR Corey Holmes has it

Corey Holmes (247Sports)

Corey Holmes (247Sports)

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The Hurricanes have major questions entering 2017 regarding their wide receiver depth.

Could Corey Holmes be part of the answer?

Holmes is transferring from Notre Dame, according to reports, and plans to play elsewhere as a graduate student.

A Pembroke Pines native who played at Fort Lauderdale-St. Thomas Aquinas, Holmes redshirted as a sophomore in 2015. He will graduate next semester, meaning he would enroll at a new school in the summer.

Which would be around the time Miami will be looking for replacements for Stacy Coley and Malcolm Lewis, both of whom are graduating. Coach Mark Richt has been blunt about his recruiting wish list.

“We need great receivers,” Richt said. “We need guys who can make plays. We need guys that have the skillset that we need to get off the jam and catch the ball in traffic, and hopefully enough top-end speed to scare people to back off you on certain routes. We got to have enough speed on the edges, for sure. That’s a big need. We have some guys that are pretty good possession-type guys. But we need more guys who can really run.”

That description fits Holmes, who is listed at 6-feet, one-half inch and 190 pounds by Notre Dame.

He was reportedly the fastest Irish player last spring, running a 4.39-second 40-yard dash. At the time, coach Brian Kelly called his testing numbers — which also included a 41-inch vertical leap — “freakish,” according to 247Sports.

“There’s track speed, and there’s in-line straight-line speed, and then there’s, quite frankly, football speed,” Kelly said. “I think that that’s been the struggle with Corey in the first couple years, is to get that to translate and through playing fast and playing with confidence and I think he’s gaining that. He’s gaining the confidence and we’re seeing definitely a different football player.”

But not enough to crack the rotation in the fall, which is why Holmes’ father, David, told Canesport he is seeking a new opportunity. Since he will graduate, he will be eligible to play immediately. He will have two years of eligibility remaining. According to his father, Holmes, who had 11 catches for 96 yards in 2016, has great interested in Miami because of the Hurricanes’ need, the Richt-led coaching staff and the proximity to home.

The big question: how interested is Miami? After striking out on five-star Deerfield Beach High standout Jerry Jeudy, who reaffirmed his commitment to Alabama, the Hurricanes are still after Louisiana-based Devonta Smith, West Virginia commit Mike Harley and several others. Richt said this week that in addition to blue-chip recruits, junior college and transfer receivers are on his radar — especially if they have speed.

Miami’s only receiver commit is Evidence Njoku, David’s brother and a 6-4, 195-pound standout in New Jersey.  In addition to losing Coley and Lewis, Miami dismissed freshman Sam Bruce, its top-rated 2016 signee, in October for repeated team rules violations.

Holmes, who was rated as high as 94th nationally by ESPN as a 2014 recruit, could join freshman All-American Ahmmon Richards and a returning cast that includes Braxton Berrios, a now-healthy Lawrence Cager, Dayall Harris, Darrell Langham and Dionte Mullins. 

 

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