Newton Linebacker Tanner Holmes Commits To Louisiana-Lafayette
Louisiana-Lafayette has not been short of stellar coaching the past four seasons. Now, the program expects to have an East Texas player to go along with its positive future outlook.
Newton linebacker Tanner Holmes, a senior, committed to the Ragin' Cajuns program Saturday following an impressive camp performance in Lafayette, La. He chose the FBS staff in favor of FCS scholarship offers from Central Arkansas and McNeese State.
Holmes (6-3, 220) helped guide Newton to a Class 3A Division II state championship game appearance last season. On the way, he won ETSN.fm + Dairy Queen Defensive Player of the Week honors with six tackles for loss and 17 tackles total in a regional semifinal playoff win.
Newton fell to Waskom in the title game, but it could be in for another deep run this campaign with 14 returning starters.
The linebacker recorded an East Texas third-best 167 tackles last season and is the region's top retuning player in the category.
ULL, currently a top-flight Sun Belt Conference team, has been a model of consistency through head coach Mark Hudspeth's four years in Lafayette. The coach has enjoyed 8-4 regular seasons each year and capped all of them with New Orleans Bowl wins.
Hudspeth did have to deal with some defensive coaching transition during the offseason, however. Defensive coordinator James Willis left the squad after two seasons to become a linebackers coach with the New Orleans Saints while defensive backs coach Tim Rebowe left for the head coaching job at Nicholls State.
Furthermore, a defensive assistant coach left the program in November and Hudspeth declined to bring back two defensive coaches after a 16-3 bowl game win against Nevada.
The head coach brought in his own playing days positional coach at Delta State, Melvin Smith, to head up the next set of Ragin Cajun defenses in January. Smith spent the past two seasons as the cornerbacks coach at Auburn and has about 20 years of coaching experience in the Southeastern Conference with other stints at Alabama, Mississippi, Mississippi State and Texas A&M.
Hudspeth and Smith coached together from 2009 through 2010 at Mississippi State.
Holmes' positional coach will likely be Mike Lucas, a 35-year veteran with Division I experience at Southeastern Louisiana, Sam Houston State, Northwestern State and Indiana State. Lucas was the head coach at Southeastern Louisiana between 2007 and 2011.
The Ragin' Cajuns aren't done recruiting East Texas. Not by a long shot.
Corrigan-Camden linebacker La'Darrius Hamilton, Alto athlete Keenen Johnson, Carthage defensive end Jarrod McLin, Jasper tight end Cody Mitchell and Chapel Hill offensive lineman Jeremy West also hold ULL offers. All of those players are uncommitted.
Holmes, like all senior high school football prospects, will become eligible to sign with any team that offers him on Feb. 3, 2016.
2016 East Texas Football Players With Division I FBS Offers
- Austin Anderson, OL, Mineola, 6-4, 289 – committed to Texas A&M; additional offers from Arizona State, Arkansas State, Auburn, California, Cincinnati, Houston, Illinois, Kansas State, Louisiana Tech, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina, North Texas, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, SMU, Southern Miss, TCU, Texas, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulsa, Vanderbilt (27)
- Riley Anderson, OL, Mineola, 6-5, 287 – committed to Texas A&M; additional offers from Arizona State, Arkansas State, Auburn, California, Cincinnati, Houston, Illinois, Kansas State, Louisiana Tech, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina, North Texas, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, SMU, Southern Miss, Texas, TCU, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulsa, Vanderbilt (27)
- Demarco Boyd, RB/LB, Gilmer, 6-0, 215 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Baylor, Florida State, Texas A&M (4)
- Gabe Foster, RB/DB, Newton, 6-3, 180 — offers from Arkansas State, Purdue, Texas State, ULM (4)
- Ke’Mon Freeman, QB/ATH, Liberty-Eylau, 5-11, 188 – offers from Arkansas State, North Texas, SMU (3)
- Travon Fuller, CB, Athens, 6-0, 160 — committed to Texas A&M (1)
- Alex Gregory, WR, Nacogdoches, 5-11, 175 — committed to Stephen F. Austin; additional offers from Texas State, ULM (2)
- Zach Hall, ATH, Tyler Lee, 5-11, 170 – offers from Baylor, Texas Tech (2)
- La’Darius Hamilton, LB, Corrigan-Camden, 6-1, 220 — offer from ULL (1)
- Adrian Harris, OL, John Tyler, 6-2, 290 — offer from ULM (1)
- Tanner Holmes, LB, Newton, 6-3, 220 — committed to ULL (1)
- Jerrod Johnson, OL, Lufkin, 6-2, 290 — offer from ULM (1)
- Keenen Johnson, ATH, Alto, 6-1, 190 – offers from SMU, ULL (2)
- Brandon Jones, S, Nacogdoches, 6-0, 190 — offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Boise State, California, Florida State, Georgia, Houston, Kentucky, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State, Purdue, SMU, Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tulsa, UCLA, USC, Washington State (40)
- Braylon Jones, DT, John Tyler, 6-3, 285 – offers from Air Force, Army, Colorado State, Houston, Navy (5)
- Corey Lane, S, 5-11, 185 – offer from Louisiana Tech (1)
- Bronson Massie, DE/LB, Lufkin 6-3, 202 – offers from California, Colorado State, Louisiana Tech, Texas State, Washington (5)
- Jarrod McLin, DE, Carthage, 6-4, 212 – offers from ULL, UTSA (2)
- Denzel Mims, WR, Daingerfield, 6-4, 180 – committed to Baylor; additional offers from Arkansas State, North Texas, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulsa (6)
- Cody Mitchell, TE, Jasper, 6-5, 225 — offers from Illinois, Louisiana Tech, Missouri, Texas State, ULL (5)
- Jordan Morales, DL, Tyler Bishop Gorman, 6-3, 275 -- offer from UTEP (1)
- Kendrick Rogers, WR, Frankston, 6-6, 207 — committed to Texas A&M; additional offers from Arkansas State, Cincinnati, Houston, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, Mississippi State, North Texas, SMU, ULL, ULM (11)
- Micahh Smith, DB, Marshall, 5-11, 185 — offer from Texas State (1)
- Aphonso Thomas, RB, Van, 5-10, 180 — committed to Nebraska; additional offers from Colorado State, Kansas, Nevada, Texas State (5)
- Jeremy West, OL/DL, Chapel Hill, 6-2, 297 — offer from ULL (1)
- Andre Wiley Jr., OLB/S, Liberty-Eylau, 5-10, 170 – offers from Arkansas State, Army, Louisiana Tech, Navy, Texas State, Wyoming (6)