2013 commit Gerald Holmes is more than just a superstar football player.
The running back out of Flint’s Carman-Ainsworth has faced his fair share of adversity in his young life, and the strength with which he has gotten through it has made him a tough leader.
He lost his mother at age five, which he says motivates him.
“I just want to do what would make her proud if she was here,” he says. “My dad is so hardworking, and my stepmom has helped me a lot along the way, too, so that motivates me.”
Even after an injury last year, the Spartans kept a scholarship offer, and he committed to the team more than a year before signing day.
Beyond the obvious commitment MSU showed, Holmes says he wants to go play for the Spartans for the “big games,” such as last week’s high profile matchup against Ohio State, which brought the ESPN GameDay crew to town.
“I’m real happy about (GameDay coming),” he says. “Stuff like that is great for the program.”
He says he is happy to see how junior running back LeVeon Bell has been “holding it down this season,” and says that while he is in no hurry to get to his level, he knows it can happen for him.
“My time will come when I’m there,” he says.
It is this attitude that has allowed him to become such a leader to his high school teammates.
“Mental toughness is one of the main things you have to do to do well in this sport,” he says. “First when Mom died and then getting hurt, I had to have that mental strength to get through it and just use it as motivation.
“When my teammates drop their heads, I really look to them like ‘push, push’.”
Like several other members of the class of 2013 that Spartan Nation has talked to, Holmes has been studying this year’s MSU games to improve his own.
“I sit back and watch, try to put myself in their shoes to see what I would’ve done. I go over there games and compare it.”
This method seems to be working for him, as he personally received an invite to represent his country on Team USA.
“I’m just staying humble and letting everything play out.”