With the upcoming season less than two months away, Penn State running back CJ Holmes is embracing a change to his position. It wouldn’t be the first time that he experienced something completely different in his collegiate career.
Holmes began his career at Notre Dame before getting dismissed. In his first year of college football, the former four-star tailback had eight carries for 32 rushing yards.
After his time with the Fighting Irish came to an end, Holmes joined Penn State as a walk-on.
The Nittany Lions already have plenty of options in their backfield, which could leave minimal snaps for Holmes. Instead of staying in a crowded backfield, he’ll try to help Penn State on the other side of the football.
On Tuesday, the Nittany Lions revealed that Holmes will be a safety for the upcoming season. This position change was in the works throughout spring camp.
Switching from running back to safety might sound unnatural, but scouting reports on Holmes have always spoke highly of his ability to play multiple positions.
“Defensively, Holmes can play safety and has the speed to cover to the sidelines, and he play physical in the running game. He also will come up and take on a block and make a tackle. … He is long and he changes direction well. He is instinctual in the running game and he has the athleticism and speed to cover.”
Penn State only has one returning starter at safety, which means plenty of opportunities should be available for Holmes.
It’ll be interesting to see how Holmes handles the position change this fall.