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Prep Notebook: Chargers’ Holmes sticking with WolfPack
BY TAFT COGHILL JR.
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Chancellor senior football standout Chris Holmes remains orally committed to N.C. State.
The Wolfpack fired coach Tom O’Brien Sunday at the end of a 7–5 season. Holmes said O’Brien’s dismissal caught him by surprise.
Holmes talked with O’Brien on his recruiting visit. He also bonded with defensive line coach Keith Willis, who served as his primary recruiter.
Still, Holmes said the school itself was the key reason for his commitment, not the coaching staff.
“I just fell in love with the school,” he said. “As long as the new coaching staff wants me, I want to go there.”
Holmes (6-foot-2, 187 pounds) was recruited by the Wolfpack as an athlete who could play on either side of the ball. He played wide receiver and defensive back for the Chargers.
He also received scholarship offers from 10 other schools, but settled on the Wolfpack in July.
Other schools have already attempted to woo Holmes away from N.C. State. Willis called Holmes and Chancellor assistant coach Chris Lam this week to make another recruiting pitch for the Wolfpack.
Holmes’ commitment is non-binding until he signs a national letter of intent. That can’t take place until February at the earliest.
“This is the unfortunate part of the business,” Lam said of how O’Brien’s firing affects recruits. “It was really dumbfounding. You hear and read things and you have an idea if a staff is on the hot seat, but this was really out of the blue.”
WILDCAT ON THE MEND
Mountain View senior wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton’s football career was cut short when he suffered a broken collarbone against Potomac in the Northwest Region, Division 5 semifinals.
Hamilton said this week he also won’t play basketball for the Wildcats. He said he could recover from the injury in time to play, but doesn’t want to risk his college football future.
Hamilton has scholarship offers from 12 Division I schools.
“I was already thinking about not playing,” Hamilton said. “But the injury was the icing on the cake.”
Hamilton was an honorable mention all-Commonwealth District shooting guard last season. As for his recruitment, he said no school has backed off because of his injury and he wants to make a college decision before the end of December.
He’s taken an official visit to Wake Forest. He’s set to visit Virginia this weekend and Penn State the following weekend. He also wants to visit Virginia Tech. He said his final visit will be Duke, Illinois or Miami.
LINEMEN SEEING STARS
Massaponax junior defensive lineman Vinny Mihota and Chancellor junior offensive tackle Steven Moss have been named four-star prospects by recruiting service Rivals.com. The rating system is based on a maximum five stars.
“I was pretty excited,” Moss said. “They gave me [an overall grade] of 5.9 and the highest is 6.1. I’m pretty ecstatic about it.”
Moss (6-foot-5, 270 pounds) has 14 scholarship offers. Mihota (6-foot-4, 240 pounds) orally committed to Virginia Tech last spring.
“That’s a great honor, but I haven’t thought about it too much,” Mihota said of his online ranking. “I can’t let it get to my head.”
EX-HAWK SETS VISIT
Former Brooke Point standout linebacker Alex Figueroa will take an official visit to the University of Miami this weekend.
Figueroa signed with Division II Shepherd (W.Va.) University last winter, but changed his mind after his academic standing improved.
He then decided to attend Fork Union Military Academy, but never enrolled after suffering a shoulder injury in the Virginia High School Coaches Association all-star game in July.
He’s taken SAT preparatory classes since and said he hopes to enroll in a Division I school in January. The Hurricanes have yet to offer a scholarship, but could do so this weekend.
Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526