C.J. Holmes, a Hamden resident and Cheshire Academy four-star recruit, is in Beaverton, Oregon for Nike’s “The Opening” football camp, a showcase for 166 of the country’s top football prospects. Before leaving, Holmes said he would be announcing his college football commitment there with the help of Bleacher Report.
He dropped the news Friday morning.
Holmes committed to play at the University of Notre Dame and he made the announcement through a video, produced by Bleacher Report, that watched like a summer block party promotion.
It featured Holmes and his friends cruising along a lake in a speed boat, swimming, tubing… fishing. Specifically, it was Holmes fishing for football teams amid all the fun.
He’d catch an Alabama helmet, throw it back. He’d catch a Tennessee jersey, throw it back.
Finally, he pulled Notre Dame’s mascot from the depths and accepted the school’s hat.
You really have to watch it to get the full experience.
— Cj Holmes (@CjHo1mes) July 8, 2016
Holmes, a 6-foot, 200-pound athlete who played receiver and defensive back at Cheshire Academy. He had offers from a horde of NCAA FBS Schools, including Alabama, Penn State, Tennessee, Michigan and UCLA.
“To be honest my gut was the biggest factor,” Holmes told Scout.com, which ranked him the 203rd prospect in the country. “Leaving campus I just had a feeling that was where I was supposed to be. I was infatuated with everything about the institution. I hadn’t felt like that anywhere else.”
Holmes is expected to play offense for the Irish.
Cheshire Academy coach Dave Dykeman could not be reached for comment, but he told Scout that Holmes can play anywhere he’s asked.
“It’s funny when you watch C.J,” Dykeman told the website. “He was 5-foot-7, 157 pounds when we recruited him and he’s 6-foot, 200 now. He can do everything. C.J. can run the ball and C.J. can catch the ball. C.J. can return punts and return kicks. He’s just an electric athlete that can do a lot of things.”
Holmes is among the large collection of other NCAA FBS recruits at the school, including fellow Hamden natives Tarik Black, C.J. Lewis and West Haven’s Brandon Sebastian.
Black is considered the best of the bunch and is considering between Alabama, Michigan, Stanford, UCLA and Notre Dame, among others. Sebastian has already committed to Boston College.
He is the sixth Connecticut native to commit to a FBS School. He and Sebastian join four CIAC athletes in Newtown’s Ben Mason (Michigan) and Seth Willis (BYU), Darien’s Andrew Stueber (Michigan) and Staples’ Ryan Fitton (UConn).