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Caziah Holmes, a consensus four-star running back in the Class of 2020 from Cocoa, Fla., announced his commitment to play football at Penn State beginning next fall.
Holmes chose the Nittany Lions over Auburn, Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee, Florida State, and Miami.
“I felt at peace at Penn State, you know,” Holmes said. “I felt the family atmosphere and the love from the players and the coaches and the people, and I know I can make an impact early.”
He also discussed the rapport he feels he has with head coach James Franklin and running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider, who came to the Lions two years ago and is known as a top recruiter of Sunshine State talent.
“I got a relationship with everybody at the staff. I love everybody down there,” Holmes said. “…Me and Coach Franklin talk on the daily, especially me and Coach Seider, me and him like father and son if you want to say it. We talk all the time, not just about football but just about life, you know just teaching me the ropes and things like that.”
Holmes, who said he decided on his college choice last week, expressed admiration for what former Nittany Lion and current New York Giant standout running back Saquon Barkley did while at the school.
“Everybody knows Saquon, that’s my guy,” Holmes said. “I know what he did, and he did amazing things….I told the coaches, and I know what type of person and player I am that I can go up and do the same thing, maybe even better.”
Penn State received a commitment from a player that was extremely productive on the field against top local high school competition. According to Maxpreps.com, Holmes amassed over 1,350 total yards and scored 18 touchdowns en route to helping lead the Tigers to a 10-4 record and a berth in the Florida High School Sports Association’s Class 4A state championship game.
He described his recruitment process initially as “pretty slow at the beginning” while he was playing defensive back under a previous coaching staff. But when a new head coach in former UCF quarterback Ryan Schneider came in last season, Holmes became the featured running back at which point he says “a lot of offers just started coming in.”
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“It was pretty stressful, but it was also fun,” Holmes added.
Holmes also discussed his personality and work ethic that he will bring to Penn State.
“[I’m a] very humble and hardworking person, a person who’s going to get in the classroom and out on the field and a person who’s going to look out for everybody and who’s going to that come-to guy when you need him,” he said.
Holmes will start his senior year at Cocoa on Friday in a preseason game before the team’s regular season begins on Aug. 23.
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