Considered one of the nation’s top all-purpose backs, Caziah Holmes joins the Nittany Lions to form what is perhaps the best stable of running backs in the country in 2020.
Ranking as one of the top-10 players at running back this recruiting cycle, Caziah Holmes committed to Penn State in August and has already enrolled in classes this January. Holmes joins one of the most talented running back rooms we’ve seen in some time in Happy Valley or anywhere in the nation for that matter.
Holmes stands at 5-foot-11, 190 pounds and has speed to burn, checking in as the No. 7 ranked all-purpose back from Rivals as well as the No. 5 ranked all-purpose back from 247Sports. That speed to burn saw him turn a couple of heads at The Opening in Orlando last year.
— John Garcia, Jr. (@JohnGarcia_Jr) February 24, 2019
He joins an incredibly talented running back room that already possesses Journey Brown, Noah Cain, Devyn Ford and Ricky Slade, all seemingly capable of being any other team’s No. 1 running back. The quartet of running backs for Penn State is arguably the best in the country entering 2020 and that was without Holmes services in the mix. Brown, Cain, Ford and Slade combined for 1,837 yards last year as only Brown was an upperclassman during the 2019 season.
Holmes will have his work cut out for him to see the field in his true freshman season but if history is any indicator, with how much Ford and Cain were utilized in their first seasons in Happy Valley, Holmes will at least get his chance. He totaled at least 1,100 yards in each of his final two seasons at Cocoa High School in south Florida and had at least 15 touchdowns on the ground as well.
What separates him from the rest of the class of running backs was the way he utilized his hands and elusiveness after the catch during his time in high school, ripping off multiple big plays through the air the past two seasons. 247Sports National Writer Charles Power had this to say on Holmes:
Has a relatively wide framed upper body with no bad weight and considerable room for added bulk. Has slowly added mass over the past year. Should continue adding size once he gets in a college strength program. Tests as one of the more athletic running backs in the 2020 cycle with high end long speed and explosion. Backs up the speed on the track, consistently running sub-11.0 second 100 meter times. Is a big play threat for one of the top high school programs in Florida. Best as an outside runner where he can use his speed to pull away from defenses once he gets to the edge and second level.
We’ll see what a winter and spring in the weight room and on the field with the Nittany Lions can do for him but one thing is for sure: Holmes is as talented as he is fast and will definitely push for playing time. With the new redshirt rule in consideration, at worst us Nittany Lion fans get to see him in action for four games this fall and his presence pushes the quartet ahead of him to be even better. At best, those four games prove he’s talented enough to not garner a redshirt.
Those are win-win situations for any Penn State fan.