Darick Holmes Jr. is in like a Lion


Transfers by high school football players between their freshman and sophomore seasons are so common at this point that not many generate much attention. Athlete Darick Holmes Jr. -- a 2015 standout -- made the move from Pasadena (Calif.) Muir to Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian this summer, and while it didn’t necessarily send shockwaves through the region, it could turn out to be a significant move.

The 5-foot-8, 170-pound sophomore already holds an offer from UCLA and is one to watch in Southern California’s already impressive class of 2015. And while Oaks Christian has produced more than its share of FBS athletes, Holmes said athletics was a distant second on his list of reasons to transfer.

“Academics really played into the decision,” Holmes said. “It’s like a college prep here, and that will really be the big difference in coming here.”

Holmes already proved how much the move means to him, as he worked hard to meet the Oaks Christian entrance requirements and dove immediately into summer school at his new home.

He said he fits in well on the field and will have an opportunity to play multiple positions this season, as an offensive skill player and in the secondary.

Holmes added that he is happy his early scholarship offer didn’t affect the way he was received by his future teammates. In fact, he embraced the fact that recruiting died down so quickly after the offer from the Bruins, though he still keeps in contact with the UCLA coaching staff.

“I really wanted to wait until my sophomore year to start the recruiting process,” Holmes said. “I really don’t pay attention to it right now, and sometimes I forget that I even have an offer.”

Holmes had talked about visiting Florida for a camp this summer, but said those plans have been put on hold, and the trip will likely happen next year.

Already, Oaks Christian is also be the beneficiary of another Holmes, as NFL veteran Darick Holmes Sr. made an impact this summer, working with football players in the area -- including several Lions standouts -- through his training company, The Pro Way. Holmes has trained football players for eight years and now works regularly with Oaks Christian players such as quarterback Brandon Dawkins, athlete Malik Cyphers, wide receiver Francis Owusu and linebacker Jake Juels.

A recent workout showed that Oaks Christian won’t soon stop producing terrific athletes, as Owusu, Juels and Holmes all have younger siblings -- Michael Owusu, Nick Juels and Darnay Holmes -- who are on pace to join the Lions as freshmen in 2013.