Being named the Atlanta Touchdown Club’s lineman of the week is an accomplishment in itself, but for Eastside senior defensive end Arthur Holmes it could mean greater things.
Holmes joins James Johnson III (2008) and Sheldin Rankins (2011) as the only three linemen from Eastside to be chosen for the award in the past six years. Both Johnson and Rankins went on to play college ball.
Johnson played at William and Mary as an offensive lineman. He accumulated 32 starts in his career there. Rankins currently plays for Louisville, and he is a highly touted NFL prospect.
“There’s no doubt, he’s (Holmes) definitely a college prospect,” Eastside football coach Rick Hurst said. “The problem is we’ve got him on the D-line right now and he’s not gonna play that in college. He’s athletic enough that he can be a great 3-4 linebacker. He’s 215 pounds.
“He doesn’t look like it so you know he’s going to be able to put on 15 or 20 pounds. He’ll be able to run. He’s a great athlete. Once he gets into a system where he’s playing linebacker all the time and he’s learning coverages and what he’s gotta do in drops, he’ll be very, very good. I fully expect him to be hanging on that (hall of fame) wall in there just like the other two later on.”
Watch Holmes in practice and you’ll see him tutoring other players on moves among other things in order to make that player better. Holmes is a captain for Eastside.
“That’s just the kind of player he is. He’s a great person, as good as he is a football player,” Hurst said.
“He’s got a big motor. That’s the one thing about him when you watch him on film he’s all over the place. He’s made tackles down the field. He’s made big time sacks for us in the first three games,” the coach said. “He just plays reckless, and that’s what we gotta have. But he’s a very smart football player. He knows what (offenses) are trying to do to him. He’s played a lot of football. He’s really kind of started since he was a sophomore and played. He’s had a lot of experience out there.”
Through three games, Holmes has 25 tackles, six sacks and three quarterback hurries. Holmes has just eight sacks last year. Hurst says he’s very quiet, but he does all his talking on the field.
“Arthur don’t say a lot, but when he does people listen,” Hurst said. “He’s liked by everybody. He’s a very well-liked young man. He’s very mannerable, he’s soft spoken. When he finally does speak out here, people listen.”