The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Pro Sports

May 12, 2013

Holmes carrying on family tradition

Rookie center already showing leadership traits

INDIANAPOLIS — Khaled Holmes will have to work hard just to become the most notable football player at his extended family’s Thanksgiving dinner table.

Brother-in-law Troy Polamalu has won two Super Bowls and made seven Pro Bowl appearances as a safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers. And Holmes’ brother, Alex, won two national championships at Southern California before spending time with the Miami Dolphins in 2005 and St. Louis Rams in 2006.

Holmes’ father, Michael, was a star defensive end under head coach Bo Schembechler at Michigan in the mid-1970s before turning down NFL overtures to become a financial advisor to the royal family of Saudi Arabia.

But football is just a piece of Holmes’ life.

His mother, Katrina, taught her children Latin and an appreciation for classical literature. Holmes played the cello growing up, and he already has earned a master’s degree in communication management from Southern Cal.

Selected in the fourth round of last month’s draft by the Indianapolis Colts, mediocrity is a word Holmes isn’t very familiar with.

“I was fortunate to be raised the way I was,” Holmes said following Sunday’s final Indianapolis Colts rookie mini-camp practice. “My mother and my dad instilled a lot of great values in me, and this has made me the man I am today.”

That man is a 6-foot-3, 302-pound center who doesn’t easily fit into any of the common stereotypes used to box in professional football players.

He certainly has the right look, complete with long and frizzy hair that must make Polamalu proud. And Holmes has proven he has the intestinal fortitude to thrive at the highest level.

Against Utah, in October, Holmes was inverted on one play by future first-round pick Star Lotuleilei and botched snaps on back-to-back series that helped the Utes roll out to a 14-0 lead.

Holmes later stood up in the postgame locker room and apologized to his teammates for his play. But not before neutralizing Lotuleilei for the rest of the evening and aiding USC to a 38-28 victory.

He’s also versatile, playing his entire sophomore season at right guard before moving over to center for his final two years with the Trojans.

An ankle injury slowed him during his senior year and might have contributed to him still being on the board when the Colts went on the clock with the 121st overall pick in the fourth round. But it hasn’t taken long for Holmes to display some of the intangibles that helped make him one of six finalists for the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s top college center last year.

“He had that aura about him,” Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said after Friday’s afternoon practice, noting the speed with which Holmes’ picks up information. “He’s a very, very confident kid. I was very impressed with Khaled.”

Holmes likely will compete with incumbent center Samson Satele for the starting role. The path became a bit more clear late last week when last year’s backup, A.Q. Shipley, was dealt to the Baltimore Ravens for a conditional seventh-round pick.

But Holmes isn’t buying into any of the talk about his leadership qualities or his potential role as a rookie. Instead he talks about studying his playbook and working hard in the weight room to be the best player he can be.

“It’s a role that, when I was at USC, I was fortunate to embrace,” Holmes said of being a leader. “Obviously, I’m just a rookie, but I’m doing everything I can to keep that going.”

He’s doing everything he can to embrace his football heritage as well.

Rather than feeling lost in the shadow of his family’s accomplishments, Holmes is trying to use their experiences for the betterment of his own nascent career.

“I’ve tried to soak up as much information as possible from them, not just recently, but you know, throughout my college career and even coming out of high school,” he said of speaking with his brother and brother-in-law. “It’s been a great resource that I’ve been fortunate to have.”

1
Text Only
Pro Sports
  • PACERS LEGEND 1.jpg Leonard still believes in the Pacers

    For the past 36 hours, the NBA universe has been buzzing about the decision made by Indiana Pacers' coach Frank Vogel to rest all of his starting five Wednesday in Milwaukee.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tiger Woods has back surgery, will miss the Masters

    Tiger Woods chose surgery to heal his ailing back over a quest for another green jacket, announcing Tuesday that he will miss the Masters for the first time in his career.

    April 1, 2014

  • SPT - HB0325 - Adam Lind swing Momentum swinging in Lind's favor Adam Lind is hitting .386 with one home run and seven RBIs through 15 Grapefruit League games this spring.

    March 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0322 - Grigson art Grigson happy with offseason additions Though he stopped just short of declaring his shopping spree over, Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson made it clear Friday he's happy with the team's offseason haul.

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0318 - Bremer mug George Bremer: Irsay's plight not about football Jim Irsay has a problem.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • George Bremer-2.JPG George Bremer: Irsay's plight not about football

    Jim Irsay has a problem.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_irsaymugshot.jpg Colts owner Jim Irsay arrested

    Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was arrested Sunday night in the northern Indianapolis suburb of Carmel on preliminary charges of driving while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance, Hamilton County Sheriff's Department Deputy Bryant Orem said.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0316 - Nicks photo Nicks betting deal with Colts will pay off Hakeem Nicks is betting on himself. The 25-year-old wide receiver with a Super Bowl ring and a long injury history from five years with the New York Giants chose a fresh start in Indianapolis because he believes the pieces are in place for the franchise to make a long postseason run.

    March 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0315 - Nicks art Colts add WR Nicks on one-year deal The Indianapolis Colts wide receiver corps was severely depleted in the second half of the 2013 season. On Friday, the franchise bought an insurance policy for this fall.

    March 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0314 - Jones art Colts DL Jones comes from fighting family If nothing else, Arthur Jones is up for a fight. Most older brothers are confident they can best their younger siblings. But it jumps to another level when the younger brother is UFC light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones.

    March 13, 2014 1 Photo

Photographer’s pick
AP Video
Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement Raw: UConn Celebrates for Second Straight Night UConn Women Win NCAA Basketball Championship Raw: Workers at Brazil Olympic Park on Strike Some Arrests As Fans Celebrate UConn Win UConn Wins NCAA Men's Basketball Championship UConn Wins NCAA Men's Basketball Champsionship Connecticut, Kentucky Fans React to NCAA Win Connecticut, Kentucky Meet for the Title AP Player of Year: Creighton's Doug McDermott Fearsome Final Foursome Head to North Texas College Athletes Take Labor Cause to Washington Northwestern Practices After Union Ruling Woods Has Back Surgery, Will Miss the Masters Raw: Obama, 'Big Papi' of Red Sox Take Selfie Raw: LA Angels Don Baylor Suffers Leg Injury Seahawks, Sounders Visit Town Near Mudslide Milwaukee Brewers' Adopted Mascot Is Big Hit Tigers' Cabrera Gets Record $292M, 10-year Deal
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin