Dynamic Four-Star Athlete to Officially Visit Vols

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    (Photo via Craig Bailey/FLORIDA TODAY)

    Offensive lineman Richie Leonard had already announced that he is taking an official visit to Knoxville this upcoming weekend. Now, his highly-rated teammate will be coming along with him.

    Caziah Holmes is a four-star running back/athlete who plays for Cocoa High School in Cocoa, Florida. On Wednesday, he announced that he would be joining teammate Richie Leonard on an official visit to check out the Vols this weekend.

    According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Holmes is the No. 192 overall prospect, No. 9 athlete, and No. 30 player in the state of Florida. He’s rated even higher in 247Sports regular rankings, coming in at No. 137 overall. He holds offers from Ohio State, Penn State, Miami, Florida State, Florida, Michigan, Auburn, and many others.

    The 5-foot-11, 180-pound athlete picked up an offer from Tennessee back on February 20th, and this will be his first time visiting Knoxville since then. He’s already taken official visits to Kentucky (June 5th) and Penn State (June 14th) and has also unofficially visited Florida State, Miami, Auburn, and Florida in 2019.

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    Holmes participated in the Orlando regional of Nike’s The Opening back in February, and he excelled while there, earning an invite to The Opening Finals later this summer. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.49 seconds and won the “fastest man race” twice.  He also ran the shuttle drill in 4.48 seconds and showed off a 38-inch vertical leap.

    As for how he performs on the field, there’s little question how good of an athlete he is.

    Holmes is explosive with the ball in his hands, and he uses his blend of good vision and elite speed to make eye-popping plays. He can make defenders look silly even when they take correct angles on him. He’s shifty and isn’t just a one-trick athlete. Holmes is a capable pass catcher and is extremely dangerous in space. He’s tougher than he looks, but he likely still needs to add on some weight to play in either the SEC or Big Ten depending on where he commits and signs. Fumbling is also a bit of an issue for him.

    As a junior, Holmes piled up 1,196 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns on just 181 carries and added 17 receptions for 176 yards and three scores according to MaxPreps. He also plays defense, and he totaled 19 tackles, three passes defended, and a blocked field goal.

    This weekend will be the last big recruiting weekend of the summer for a while, as the dead period begins in less than a week and runs through late July. Getting Holmes on campus before that dead period is huge, and having him come in with another UT target and teammate is even bigger.

    Our Take:

    Right now, it looks like Penn State is the leader for Holmes. The fact that they can pitch to Holmes that he can be used just like former Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and 2018 NFL Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley is a big plus in their favor, and he really enjoyed his official visit there.

    Tennessee has a chance to gain some major momentum with Holmes on this visit, and it’s a very important trip for both Holmes and Leonard.