Holmes, from Gastonia, N.C., was a two-year starter for the Golden Eagles at tackle. He became the first Southern Miss player taken in the NFL Draft since both Shawn Nelson (Buffalo Bills) and Gerald McRath (Tennessee Titans) got chosen in the fourth round of the 2009 draft. Holmes was the first Southern Miss player taken by the Falcons since Michael Boley earned a fifth-round selection to the organization in the 2005 draft.
In addition, his selection is the highest pick for a Golden Eagle in the draft since wide receiver Todd Pinkston was taken in the second round by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2000.
This past season, Holmes started 14 games at left tackle for the Golden Eagles which finished 12-2 and won the C-USA and Hawai’i Bowl championships en route to being named first-team All-Conference USA.
During the regular season, he recorded 98 knockdown blocks, including a season-high 16 in the season opener against Louisiana Tech. He graded out at 71 percent or better in every game and above 82 percent in five different contests.
Behind Holmes, the Golden Eagles established a school-record for total offense with 6,459 yards, marking the first time the school had been over 6,000 yards of total offense in a season.
In addition to his stellar work on the offensive line, he also caught an Austin Davis lateral for a two-point conversion against UCF which proved to be the winning points in a 30-29 victory over the Knights.
He was a Dec. 2010 signee from Itawamba Community College where he played two seasons for Jeff Terrill and was voted a NJCAA preseason All-American first team prior to the 2009 campaign. Holmes collected first-team All-MACJC North honors during his freshman season. He prepped at Huss High School in North Carolina.
Holmes was the 91st pick overall.