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
  • SPT - HB0725 - Newsome - JC - 1 Former BSU star Newsome ready to prove his worth

    Jonathan Newsome knows what it feels like to be a spectator at the Indianapolis Colts' training camp. He spent one day in each of the past two summers watching practice alongside his Ball State teammates. When the first public practice of 2014 begins today at 1:50 p.m., Newsome — a fifth-round pick in May's draft — will be on the other side of the fence as a rookie outside linebacker earning his stripes.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0725 - Getting healthy - JC - 3 Colts getting healthy as training camp opens Reggie Wayne's arrival Wednesday in an IndyCar driven by two-time Indianapolis 500 pole-sitter Ed Carpenter drew national attention. But the most important news coming out of reporting day for the Indianapolis Colts concerned the wide receiver's health.

    July 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT - HB0725 - Colts arrive - JC - 315a.jpg Colts arrive for training camp

    VIDEO: Reggie Wayne's arrival in a two-seat IndyCar driven by Indianapolis 500 pole-sitter Ed Carpenter highlighted Colts players' arrival at Anderson University Wednesday morning.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0723 - Pagano art Colts' 'monster' now preparing to 'hunt'

    There's a different kind of buzz surrounding the Indianapolis Colts as they prepare to report for training camp today at Anderson University. Expectations have been high inside the locker room since Chuck Pagano arrived in January 2012 and promised shortly thereafter to "Build the Monster." Two 11-win seasons and one playoff victory later, the mantra has changed.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0722 - Stuckey art Pacers face uphill battle after signing Stuckey Last week, the Indiana Pacers lost Lance Stephenson. On Monday, they replaced one of the NBA's best young players with shooting guard Rodney Stuckey.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_shellysterling.jpg Lawyer says Clippers sale could miss deadline

    A lawyer for the man offering to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion says Donald Sterling's stalling tactics are threatening to doom the sale by pushing it past a contractual deadline.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0717 - Colts Camp Colts set to host ESPN during training camp ESPN is coming to Anderson University. "The Worldwide Leader in Sports" will set up shop on campus during Indianapolis Colts training camp on July 28. Reporter Bob Holtzman and analyst Jeff Saturday, who started 188 games at center for the Colts from 1999 through 2011, are scheduled to be on hand.

    July 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lebron's Decision Basketball [Duplicate] Pacers face new challenges in Central Division The road to another Eastern Conference final just got a whole lot tougher for the Indiana Pacers.

    July 14, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0713 - TY 2 Rising star Hilton excited about future T.Y. Hilton surveyed the Lawrence North High School football field covered with more than 200 campers working in small groups with more than 30 area high school coaches Saturday morning and smiled.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • LeBrons Decision Cleveland Basketball [Duplicate] James makes Cavs better, now East more wide open A word of caution to anyone anointing the Cleveland Cavaliers as the NBA favorites. Yes, the Cavaliers are going to be good, no doubt. It's impossible not to be with the game's best player. But even LeBron James knows Cleveland has a lot of work to do.

    July 12, 2014 4 Photos