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Dev Holmes Wastes No Time Bursting Onto the Scene

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There are good first impressions, and then there’s the impression Dev Holmes made this past Saturday.

Holmes, the University at Albany freshman wide receiver playing in his first game as a Great Dane, shredded a talented Pittsburgh defense to the tune of nine catches, 143 yards and a touchdown.

Holmes, who earned CAA Rookie of the Week honors for his monster statline, was the brightest spot for the Danes in their 33-7 season opening loss to Pitt at Heinz Field.

Holmes may have kicked off his college career in grand fashion, but he’s adamant that he didn’t need a confidence boost.

“I’ve always had confidence in myself, even when I played Pop Warner,” Holmes said after practice Thursday, as he and the Danes prepare to tangle with the Rhode Island Rams on Saturday. “It’s just who I am. I play with a chip on my shoulder.”

Despite playing his high school ball just down the road in Troy, NY, Holmes wasn’t always destined to suit up in purple and gold.

Holmes, who originally committed to Villanova, had a falling out with the Philadelphia powerhouse during the recruitment process, ultimately leading to him decommitting and joining UAlbany.

Now a Dane, Holmes says he’s motivated by the way Villanova treated him, and he’s chomping at the bit to get his first shot to line up against them.

“It’s life. It happens. I’m just playing and letting them think about me,” Holmes said. “I know that they saw that game.”

The performance was the seventh-best receiving day in Great Dane history.

In recruiting, every coach looks for winners. They look for guys that have played on the big stage and have excelled in that spotlight.

In Holmes, Great Danes head coach Greg Gattuso found that guy. Holmes and his Troy High School teammates captured two state titles while he was there, with Holmes contributing on offense, defense, and special teams in those seasons.

That track record of winning may have helped to silences those who doubted Holmes due to his size.

Listed at 5’8” and 153 pounds, he’s never been a physically imposing wide receiver.

“I was getting a lot of interest from FCS schools, so I knew who I had to prove myself to the FBS schools. After a while, I just forgot about it and moved on, and that’s when I committed”, Holmes said about his battle to prove that his slight frame wouldn’t hold him back.

Growing up with three brothers, Holmes never had an issue channeling his competitive side.

His older brother spent time in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers, while his father chose to forgo division one football to focus on raising his first child.

“It was always fun [growing up]. Me and my brothers always talked trash to each other. Then of course my older brother set the standard playing for the Packers, so that’s the goal.”

Off the field, you can find Dev perched in front of a TV with a controller in his hands.

He considers himself an avid gamer, and although he likes his fair share of new titles, the now extinct NCAA Football franchise lingers in his heart.

“I still play NCAA Football 14 all the time. It’s gotta be one of the best football games ever made. I’d do anything to have that [series] come back man.”

Next up for Dev and the Danes is a matchup with conference foe Rhode Island at 1:00 on Saturday.

It’ll be Albany’s first CAA conference game of 2018, and it won’t be easy.  The Rams are coming off of an impressive 21-19 win over Delaware in Week One.

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