University of Southern California Trojans
Santa Ana, California
Mater Dei High School
Perhaps it would be wise for whatever team that eventually drafts Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley to keep Holmes’ phone number on speed-dial. The duo have been friends and teammates ever since their first year at Mater Dei High School and the chemistry the two had developed was further cemented when Holmes shifted to center for Southern Cal during his junior campaign.
Snapping the ball and protecting the quarterback just seemed like the “natural thing” to do for the center and the Barkley had extreme confidence that no defensive lineman would be able to bull rush him and collapse the pocket, as long as Holmes was providing protection up the middle.
The two enjoyed a breakout 2011 campaign together. The Trojans compiled a 10-2 record, Barkley used the protection Holmes offered to throw for 37 touchdowns vs. just seven interceptions. The offense averaged 456.75 yards per game and the front wall, led by their new center calling blocking assignments, did a stellar job protecting the pocket, as the eight sacks allowed by that front wall was the second-lowest for any major college team.
Coming into the 2012 campaign, USC had aspirations of capturing the national champion-ship, now that their postseason ban by the NCAA was officially over. But, as the old saying goes – the best laid plans of mice and men. Injuries reared their ugly head, first by Holmes, who suffered a right ankle sprain in the Trojans’ third game of the season that would not only sideline him for the following week vs. powerful Stanford, would also limit his mobility the rest of the year.
There were injury issues with the receiving corps, with star Robert Woods hurting. Barkley also suffered through injury problems late in the season, as his shoulder problems would not only force him to miss the team’s final two games, but also keep him out of the post-season action, which also included throwing at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine.
Holmes also pulled out of college all-star games to heal up for the Combine, but while attempting to perform in the bench press, he injured his pectoral muscle and had to pull out of the rest of the testing process.
Without Barkley to take snaps from Holmes, the Trojans limped to a 7-6 record, far from their national title dreams. In the Notre Dame game, their first without their preseason All-American passer, USC was held to 281 total yards and 186 passing, throwing two passes that were picked off to set up Irish scoring drives, handing the Trojans a 22-13 loss.
It would get worse vs. Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl, as both teams were hovering near the .500 mark. Tech handed USC a 21-7 beating, as the offense managed only 98 yards on the ground, suffered through three interceptions and had just 107 aerial yards.
While the 2012 season was far from what Holmes was hoping for, he is still a player whose football pedigree and performance, when healthy, merited his preseason ranking among the elite offensive linemen eligible for the 2013 draft. If he ever needed to turn to others for advice, he has three very important family members to fill him in on the trials and tribulations of the game of football.
Holmes’ father, Mike, was a hard-hitting defensive end that competed for the Michigan Wolverines from 1974-75. Khaled’s brother, Alex, was a standout tight end at Southern California (2000-02, ’04) who had 82 career receptions and was a member of USC’s 2003 and 2004 national championship squad before going on to play with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins in 2005. His brother-in-law is another former Trojan All-American and current NFL All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu (1999-2002) of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Like his family members, Holmes is a physical player with a tenacious attitude. He has no problem handling the leadership role on the front wall, knowing exactly when he needs to tutor a fellow line mate or take that player to task for not performing up to the “Trojan Way.” He is a very effective trap blocker with the valid foot speed to get out in front on sweeps, along with a strong concept for angles as he stalks second level defenders.
Holmes has that sudden snap quickness to get the ball back cleanly to the quarterback, whether the passer is lining up in classic formation or fielding from the shotgun. He rises out of his stance with good urgency and is conscious of keeping his hands inside the frame, in order to latch on, grab and jerk down his opponent in attempts to clear the trash out of the rush lanes.
The senior snapper does a nice job of recognizing and picking up stunts and twists. He had some problems being walked back into the pocket, at times during his senior year, but that was mostly due to not being to anchor firmly while hobbled by his ankle woes.
Holmes has good balance and a low pad level on the move and knows how to use his size and power to root defenders out of the hole. In pass protection, he has the nimble feet to get back and protect vs. edge rushers, affording his quarterback the time needed to complete the play without interruption.
At Mater Dei High School, Holmes began his gridiron career in nice fashion, as he was named to the 2005 Cal-Hi Sports All-State Sophomore first-team. He was joined on that squad by current USC Trojans Matt Barkley, Victor Blackwell and Max Wittek. In 2006, he earned Cal-Hi Sports All-State second-team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass first-team, Los Angeles Times All-Star and All-Trinity League recognition.
Those two seasons led to Holmes’ banner senior campaign. He would go on to receive Prep Star and EA Sports All-American honors, as the member of the ESPN 150 team was also named to the Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West Best of the Rest and Tacoma News Tribune Western 100 squads.
Additionally, Holmes garnered Cal-Hi Sports All-State, All-CIF Pac-5 Division, Los Angeles Times All-Star, Orange County Register All-Orange County and All-Trinity League Co-Lineman of the Year as an offensive lineman.
After signing with Southern California in 2008, Holmes spent his first season at the university performing as an offensive guard for the scout team. He would appear briefly in just the San Jose State, Washington State and Arizona State contests to earn his first letter as a third-string guard in 2009.
In 2010, Holmes took over right guard duties, as the All-Pac 10 Conference honorable mention. Playing next to All-American tackle Tyron Smith, the duo held opponents at bay, as the Trojans averaged 431.46 yards per game. The sophomore would produce seven touchdown-resulting blocks and 71 knockdowns for his work in the trenches.
As a junior, Holmes missed spring drills due to a shoulder injury, but returned to action by the season opener. He started every game and was named All-Pac 12 Conference second-team honors in his first year as an offensive center. With 90 knockdowns and twelve more touchdown-resulting blocks, his protection of the pocket led to 37 Matt Barkley touch-downs behind an offensive line that saw him sacked just eight times for the year.
Despite battling with his ankle injury, along with other key offensive personnel getting hurt, Holmes managed to pull in a few awards after his senior season. The 2012 All-Pac 12 Conference choice was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy, given to the nation’s top center. He was selected the Trojans’ Offensive Lineman of the Year and Sports Illustrated placed him on their All-American honorable mention squad.
Holmes appeared in forty of a possible fifty games for Southern California, starting 37 contests – 24 at center and thirteen at right offensive guard…In three seasons as a starter, he was credited with 227 knockdowns/key blocks and recorded 27 touchdown-resulting blocks…In two seasons at center, he called blocking assignments for an offensive line that yielded only 25 quarterback sacks during that 24-game span.
Holmes was an All-American honorable mention by Sports Illustrated and a consensus All-Pac 12 Conference first-team choice…Was one of six finalists for the Rimington Trophy, given to the nation’s top center…Selected the Offensive Lineman of the Year and also won the Trojan Way Leadership Award…Recipient of the Trojan Football Alumni Club Award, given to the player with the best grade point average…Suffered a right ankle sprain in the team’s second match-up, vs. Syracuse and even though he suited up the following week, the coaches elected to let his injury heal further and did not insert him into the lineup vs. Stanford…Without Holmes in the middle of the line, Stanford limited the Trojans to just 280 yards in total offense, their lowest output for the season…His best performances came vs. Hawaii (eight knockdowns, as the team gained 394 yards passing), Colorado (two touchdown-resulting blocks for a unit that tallied 458 yards), Arizona (nine knockdowns and a touchdown-resulting block for a 618-yard attack) and Oregon (held off a constant blitz as USC threw for 484 of its 615 yards).
After missing spring drills with a shoulder injury, ten, switching to center from right offensive guard prior to the season opener, Holmes quickly adapted to life in the pivot and calling blocking assignments, as he captured All-Pac 12 Conference second-team honors after registering 90 knockdowns and twelve touchdown-resulting blocks…Through 447 pass plays, he allow just one quarterback sack and one pressure, as the entire front wall gave up a league-low (second nationally) eight sacks for the schedule…Helped the Trojans average 294.17 aerial yards (fourth in the league), 456.76 yards in total offense (21st in the nation) and 35.75 points per game…Recorded key touchdown-resulting blocks vs. Arizona (team gained 582 yards, as he had two touchdown-resulting blocks on six scoring drives), Stanford (team piled up 432 yards) and Washington (helping the team total 252 yards on the ground).
In his first season as a starter, the Trojans’ right guard delivered seven touchdown-resulting blocks, earning All-Pac 10 Conference honorable mention…Also produced 71 knockdowns…His success in protecting the pocket allowed the Trojans to average 242.15 aerial yards per game…Helped pave the way as the team averaged 431.46 yards in total offense per game, a marked improvement over the 2009 average of 389.08 yards…Also helped USC gain 171.43 yards rushing per game.
Holmes was a reserve offensive guard who appeared briefly in just three games, seeing action vs. San Jose State, Washington State, Arizona State.
Holmes red-shirted as a freshman offensive guard.
2011 Season…Sat out spring drills with a shoulder injury.
2012 Season…Suffered a right ankle sprain vs. Syracuse, missing the team’s next game vs. Stanford.
2012 Post-season…Injured a pectoral muscle during the bench press drills at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine.
5.17 in the 40-yard dash…1.73 10-yard dash…2.96 20-yard dash…4.69 20-yard shuttle…
7.71 three-cone drill…30 ½-inch vertical jump…9’1” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 23 times…35-inch arm length…10 ¼-inch hands…80 3/8-inch wingspan.
Holmes attended Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Cal.) High School, where he was teammates with current Southern California Trojans Matt Barkley, Victor Blackwell and Max Wittek…Was
named to the 2005 Cal-Hi Sports All-State Sophomore first-team…In 2006, he earned Cal-Hi Sports All-State second-team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass first-team, Los Angeles Times All-Star and All-Trinity League recognition…Received Prep Star and EA Sports All-American honors, as the member of the ESPN 150 team was also named to the Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West Best of the Rest and Tacoma News Tribune Western 100 squads as a senior…Also garnered Cal-Hi Sports All-State, All-CIF Pac-5 Division, Los Angeles Times All-Star, Orange County Register All-Orange County and All-Trinity League Co-Lineman of the Year as an offensive lineman.
Holmes received his bachelor’s degree in Communications at the University of Southern California in the spring of 2011 and is presently completing courses towards a master’s degree in Communication Management…Graduated with a 3.31 grade point average and was named to the 2011 Pac-12 Conference All-Academic second-team and was chosen 2010 Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention…Along with fifteen of his teammates, they spent five in Haiti in the spring of 2012 building homes and assisting those in need…His father, Mike, was a hard-hitting defensive end that competed for the Michigan Wolverines from 1974-75…Khaled’s brother, Alex, was a standout tight end at Southern California (2000-02, ’04) who had 82 career receptions and was a member of USC’s 2003 and 2004 national championship squad before going on to play with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins in 2005…His brother-in-law is another former Trojan All-American and current NFL All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu (1999-2002) of the Pittsburgh Steelers…Born 1/19/90…Resides in Santa Ana, California.
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