Be careful what you say to your coach, because he may just take you up on your offer.
Ohio State defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones was injured in a freak accident last week, and one day later, senior defensive end Jalyn Holmes was learning a brand new position.
Holmes, a captain, started in Jones’ place at defensive tackle last week at Rutgers, and played pretty well.
“I feel like I did a good job,” he said. “I feel like I left a lot of plays out there. At first, I was nervous because I had never done it before and I took over the job Wednesday. So, I really only had two days to get myself prepared for it.”
How did defensive line coach Larry Johnson go about calling on Holmes to step in for Jones?
“Well, they really didn’t call on me,” Holmes said. “I kind of just offered my services. Whatever they need me to do, I’ll do it. When I noticed that Dre’Mont was down, I just told them if you need me to do it, I’ll be in first thing in the morning just to learn it.”
At least a little to Holmes’ chagrin, Johnson took him up on the offer.
“I just saw Coach J going through it a little bit, so I was like, ‘If you need me to do it, I’ll do it,’” he said. “I wasn’t playing him, but I was just saying it just to make him feel a little better, but he took me seriously and the next day I was in there.”
Lesson learned. No good deed goes un-double-teamed.
“I was just trying to make the situation a little better because Coach Johnson is my man and he was looking kind of down,” Holmes said. “So, I was like, ‘Maybe if I just say something…’ and he really took me seriously.”
To be fair to Johnson, Holmes wasn’t totally foreign to playing inside. During passing downs in the Rushmen package, Holmes has played inside quite a bit over the past two seasons. But playing defensive tackle on running downs is much different than on passing downs. Which helped to explain Holmes’ reaction when Johnson took him up on his offer.
“It’s explicit,” he said of his initial response. “I can’t really say it. I was kind of nervous, though. Immediately after he told me to come in the next day and learn the basics of everything, I went home and called my dad. I just told my dad, ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do. That’s some big boys down there. That’s 600 pounds sometimes you’re dealing with.’ And he told me to put my faith in God and just pray on it and just prepare myself the best way I could, and it worked out.”
It did work out. Holmes graded out as a champion for his performance against Rutgers, but you have to wonder if his volunteering days might be over.
“I mean, that’s just who I am though,” he said. “I just feel like I’m put on this earth to serve, so I probably will. If they need me to do something, I’ll do it.”