Head Coach Mark Dantonio and the Michigan State staff got some good news earlier today when running back Gerald Holmes of Flint Carman-Ainsworth High School decided to become the first member of the Spartan class of 2013.
Michigan State hosted a small group of top prospects on campus today on an unofficial visit. Before leaving East Lansing Holmes decided to make it official and join the Spartan family. He spoke with SpartanMag.com about the decision.
"My dad and I had been talking about it at home for a few weeks," Holmes said. "I was with Coach Salem and we went and talked with Coach Izzo. When Coach Dantonio walked up I just felt it was the right time and I shook his hand and I said I was ready to commit."
The Spartans want to address the running back position with the class of 2013 and the commitment of Holmes is a big step in the right direction. In addition to Michigan State, Holmes already had offers from Central Michigan and Toledo. He didn't bother to wait through the spring, summer and fall for the dozens of BCS conference offers that were likely to come.
We asked the 6-foot-1, 205-pound prospect what it was about Michigan State that made it the right place for him.
"I just felt at home when I was at Michigan State," he said. "The coaching staff is real nice and the atmosphere for football and basketball is great. I just could really see myself playing there. The fact that they stuck with me despite my injury this past fall meant a lot as well."
The Spartans have only signed 1 running back commitment in the last two years. It is very possible that a running back in the class of 2013 will have the opportunity to make an early impact in East Lansing. We asked Holmes if the staff talked about what they like about him.
"The staff likes that I am a big, physical player that runs downhill," Holmes said. "They said that I remind them a lot of Le'Veon Bell."
The Bell comparison is easy to see as Holmes is known for gaining most of his yards after contact. In addition he also has a nice spin move he uses.
Holmes informed us that his primary recruiter from Michigan State was Coach Harlon Barnett, but he also has spent plenty of time getting to know his position coach, Brad Salem. With his decision on college made, Holmes is looking forward to his senior season for Carman-Ainsworth.
"I want to make my senior year the best one I have had. I am working hard now in the off season to get ready for the fall. We have some good players coming back so I think we can have a very good team."
Holmes missed the majority of his junior season due to a severely sprained ankle. To see some video of his sophomore season, click the link below.