Spartan running backs in friendly, but intense, competition

EAST LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Gerald Holmes has become the guy for the Spartans, except the fact that there are two other guys on the team who are equally as good in the same position.

One would think this would cause quite the controversy but, in fact, it’s only made these three running backs that much closer.

Gerald Holmes was a kid from Flint who, like a lot of kids from Flint, just wanted to play football.

“Kinda like a niche for me just running the ball, long touchdown runs, so from there I just kept growing with it”

He played the game well enough to earn a spot on the varsity roster at Carman-Ainsworth.

But his talent on the turf was short-lived after injuring his ankle.

“I was being recruited by a lot of people but a lot of them never really got that extra step to offer me. A lot of schools fell back.”

But all he needed was one school to take a chance on him.

“Coach D shook my hand on the practice field and offered me right then and there. For a team like that to shake my hand, a kid from Flint with a messed up ankle, that kinda meant a lot.”

Holmes committed to play at Michigan State in February of 2013 but was just another number on the one-hundred man roster.

Holmes, yet again, had to prove his self-worth but it didn’t take long.

In his sophomore season Gerald was the Spartans’ second-leading rusher.

He ran for 540 yards and scored 8 touchdowns that season, he was starting to come into his own.

Despite his emerging status Gerald had to continue to prove himself because if he didn’t there were two other guys that could and would take his place: LJ scott and Madre London.

While there are three running backs there’s only one ball.

One would think the inner competition might create some animosity.

Quite the contrary it formed a bond.

In fact, a shared childhood experience has drawn these three Spartan running backs even closer.

“You didn’t have to know about their background. You can almost just see it and kinda feel that love and care for each other,” explains Holmes. “And by me being the older guy I look at myself as the big brother and I try to keep that going.”

“Like I always say, I treat those guys just like my blood brother Issiah Scott back at home and I think it’s awesome just the fact that we’re competing for the same position but we’re still that close.”

“It was tough at times, it was a grind losing my mom at the age of five, that was really hard. At the same time not having the money as a little kid would want. My dad I feel like was a really big grinder, just not having a job at times and not having a car at times and having to ride a bike in the winter.”

“We all came from pretty much nothing, broke backgrounds, so that’s what makes us even closer, having the same type of struggle back at home and stuff like that.”

It was the faith of Mark Dantonio in them that changed these three men’s lives forever.

“It is crazy. For the most part where we play a game and it can almost change my life financially, just in general. Coach D and his staff teaches us how to be a man. When things aren’t going your way or if they are going your way how to overcome and persevere certain things.”

“A couple of months ago I was on Twitter and kinda seeing guys and fans, little kids and everything, saying I’m your biggest fan and you’re my favorite player. I kinda looked at it like it’s crazy because I used to have a favorite player and now I’m someone else’s favorite player.”

“I feel like that time and years will come and sit back and say `dang man remember that time…we didnt have this and we successful’.”

It’s still unclear whether or not Gerald Holmes will start this season for the Green and White but it’s certain this guy will play a big role in the Spartans’ success

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