Notre Dame WR Corey Holmes reroutes career, set to transfer

Eric Hansen
South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND — Corey Holmes opened eyes and minds last spring when the Notre Dame wide receiver clicked off a team-best 40-yard dash time of 4.39 seconds.

The spring surprise turned into a fall fade, and the junior had trouble converting his straight-line speed into consistent production or playing time.

On Saturday, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Pembroke Pines, Fla., product announced he’ll try to reboot his career somewhere other than at ND.

A Notre Dame official confirmed Holmes informed Irish head coach Brian Kelly that he intends to transfer after the spring semester.

“Throughout the season, I had plenty of conversations with my parents about this,” Holmes told the Tribune. “Being a redshirt sophomore, I feel like my time was beginning to run out, and I just didn’t see myself being the No. 1 receiver here at Notre Dame.

“I still have a dream to fulfill, quite frankly, and I just think I need to go somewhere where I could be the premier receiver.”

Holmes played in all 12 games for the Irish (4-8) in 2016, starting four. He was ND’s sixth-leading receiver with 11 catches for 96 yards (8.7 avg.). His longest career catch was 18 yards.

Holmes said Notre Dame will not restrict his landing spot, and that includes future Irish opponents. Miami (Fla.) is expected to be the front-runner among several options. The Irish play the Hurricanes next Nov. 11 in Miami Gardens, Fla.

“I don’t know which schools yet where there would be mutual interest,” he said, “but I’ve been studying depth charts the past couple of days. Beyond Miami, schools like North Carolina, UCLA and Arizona State are some schools I’d be considering.”

Holmes’ plan is to graduate in August, which, if successful in doing so, would allow him to transfer grad-school style without having to sit out a year.

If that indeed happened, he would have two seasons of eligibility at his new school. If he does not graduate and has to sit out a year, he’ll have just one year to play, since he redshirted in 2015 at Notre Dame.

Holmes said Saturday, he plans to take 17 credit hours in the spring semester and eight more next summer to get his degree.

Holmes came to ND from national prep power St. Thomas Aquinas. He played in two games during his freshman season at ND but did not record any receptions.

He becomes the third Irish player to seek a transfer since the season ended Nov. 26 with a 45-27 loss at USC. Quarterback Malik Zaire and offensive lineman John Montelus were the first two to announce theirs.

If Holmes is successful in completing his degree work by May, all three transfers will walk away with Notre Dame degrees.

Notre Dame wide receiver Corey Holmes (15), here breaking away from Army's Jaylon McClinton on Nov. 12, told Irish coach Brian Kelly this week he plans to transfer. (Tribune Photo/BECKY MALEWITZ)