Spartan Stadium

East Lansing, MI

Spartan RB Gerald Holmes showed up here at Spartan Stadium for media with his long hair cut, and his ever present smile visible for all to see. The Spartans talented and versatile back is ready for the Spartans to put the pads on and head off in pursuit of back to back Big Ten titles.

Holmes explosive style reminded many of former Alabama and NFL back Shaun Alexander the way he toted the rock for MSU last year and he is ready to continue this season. He said, “We (RBs) are looking to have a way bigger role this year. We all have years under our belt and experience playing. We’re going to have a bigger role this year and have to make some plays to help accomplish things.”

For Holmes, being in a crowded back field that includes four legitimate big time running backs isn’t easy, but don’t confuse that with bad. He said, “It is kind of hard because you could be on a role and maybe the coach has a different view on something and will take you out or one guy might be in longer, so it can be hard in that aspect. But, it is good because we are all fresh and you can’t key in on one running back.

So what did this talented red shirt junior do to set himself apart over the off season from the other backs? “I just tried to get in shape and get my body right and eat healthy. I had to know my ability and increase that from last year. You can’t redo too much until we get into practice. Now is when the real work comes in and we will see what guys can do.

The credit for a healthy Spartan RB competition certainly belongs to the four young men fighting for time. They work together. Each of the four running backs is desperately competing for time against the others, while also cheering on the man with the ball. It is a unique dynamic that isn’t possible without some great character in the running back room.