Athletic big men are not a dime a dozen. Therefore, when good defensive tackles are discovered the word spreads through Division I coaching circles like a brush fire. There is a player in San Diego who has the goods and before too long could be considered one of SoCal's best defensive linemen.
Keep an eye on Josh Holmes (6-2, 255, 4.8) from San Diego (Calif.) Point Loma.
"Josh has a great burst and is very nimble on his feet," Point Loma coach Mike Hastings said. "Not only is Josh a great athlete but he has the work ethic to match."
Holmes is a standout on both sides of the ball as a defensive tackle and tight end. He was so good on the defensive side of the ball that he earned League Defensive Player of the Year honors. He was also second-team for the very tough San Diego section All-CIF.
From his defensive tackle spot Holmes racked up 43 tackles, 11 sacks and two fumble recoveries in 2004. As a tight end, he had four receptions for 81 yards and two touchdowns.
Holmes has outstanding leadership skills. His teammates voted him team captain as a junior.
"Josh is very athletic," Hastings said. "He also plays basketball and throws the shot and discus in track."
Hastings credited Holmes with having a solid work ethic.
"Josh is the type of guy who will come and get the keys to the weight room so he can get his workout," Hastings said. "To go with all of his other qualities, Josh has good strength, too."
Holmes has a solid bench of 325 and squats an impressive 450. The power clean is a true football lift and Holmes cleans a very good 275.
On the gridiron Holmes hasn't even begun to tap his enormous potential. He has all the tangible and intangibles to be a great one.
"Josh is a great student of the game," Hastings said. "When he watches film, he breaks down what his opponent's weaknesses are and he will tell me how he will be able to beat is opponent."
"My defensive coordinator was coaching here at Point Loma when (San Diego State, New Orleans Saint and now Dallas Cowboy standout) LaRoi Glover attended the school," Hastings said. "He thinks that Josh has the same athletic ability and work ethic that Glover had at the same time during their career."
"The reason that Josh has tremendous upside is he's only 16 years old," Hastings said. "He is still growing. Josh will turn 17 during his freshman year in college."
"There is no telling how good he's going to be," Hastings said. "The sky is the limit."
According to Hastings Colorado, Utah, USC, UCLA and hometown school San Diego State are showing early interest in Holmes. Look for that number to grow substantially.