ORLANDO, Fla. -- At the high school level, the stage does not get much better than the Florida High School Athletic Associations 7A state championship game.
St. Thomas Aquinas wide receiver Corey Holmes on his 80-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
St. Thomas Aquinas 2014 wide receiver Corey Holmes saved his best game of the season for this very game against an ultra-talented Tallahassee Lincoln squad ripe with BCS talent.
Facing a third and nine with a 7-6 lead in the game’s opening quarter, Holmes put his stamp on the game early. Working from the slot, Holmes was able to gain a step on the defender going up the seam, which resulted into an 80-yard touchdown.
In the second quarter, Holmes took a tunnel screen 55-yard to set up a field goal as the half expired. At the end Holmes tallied four catches for 167 yards to help lead his team to a 41-25 victory.
“It’s great,” Holmes said of his performance. “I’m so excited we won the state championship. I just can’t describe the feeling right now.”
St. Thomas Aquinas is a national power, but after a three loss season a year ago that ended in the state quarterfinals and two regular season losses this year, there were questions about their place on the national stage.
A win over No. 1 ranked Manatee a week ago, topped off with their seventh FHSAA state title showed it the past season was just a minor slip-up.
“At the beginning of the year, we really talked about our return to dominance and stuff,” Holmes said. “We just came into the game so ready. We were so excited after the big win over the number one team in the country last week. We just came in here all fired up and everything. It’s great, I’m so excited we won the state championship.”
Friday night’s performance by Holmes displayed why so many colleges are after the 6-foot-1, 170-pound prospect so early. However, he has been in contact with only a few constantly.
“I talked a lot to Notre Dame and Michigan,” Holmes said. “I really talk to them a lot and Rutgers came by also. Those are just the schools right now.”
Florida as one school on Holmes early with former wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill. The communication with the Gators continued when interim receivers coach Bush Hamdan took over, but has since dipped with the announcement of Joker Phillips taking over full time.
“I was talking to Bush, but since they hired the new receivers coach I haven’t heard from them.”
When asked to pin down any early leaders, Holmes maintains he is still looking at all.
“I’m just looking at everything in front of me right now. I say I’m definitely looking for great coaches, teammates that look out for each other, looking for a school with great academics and a great college in general.”
247Sports currently rates Holmes a three-star prospect with a grade of 89.