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May 18, 2012

Holmes and Coleman shine as Tech looks to replace Wilson

By: Jimmy Robertson

Michael Holmes

Tech fans went into spring practice anxious to see who would replace David Wilson, who broke the school’s single-season rushing record en route to the ACC’s player of the year honor last fall.

Michael Holmes did not disappoint.

Holmes came out of spring practice in the top spot at tailback after redshirting last fall. His best performance of the spring came in the April 14 scrimmage when he ripped off a 60-yard touchdown run in an 89-yard performance.

“I don’t think he could have had a better spring,” running backs coach Shane Beamer said. “He’s made plays. He’s been physical. From an assignment and mental standpoint, he’s been good. I can count on one hand the missed assignments that have happened. He took the role and grabbed it. I’m pleased with the spring he had.”

Beamer also got a good look at J.C. Coleman, a freshman who graduated from high school early and enrolled at Tech in January. Coleman obviously lacks size, but he possesses elite quickness and uncanny maturity.

“You would think he’d be all over the place from an assignment standpoint, but he was very good,” Beamer said. “He’s mature beyond his age. He was business-like in how he approached things. Now, from a physical standpoint, he needs to have a great summer in the weight room. He’s got to get stronger and be able to hold up between the tackles. But he was good.”

At fullback, Joey Phillips remains in the top spot because of his solid play and because he’s dependable. Riley Beiro got extensive action at the fullback position this spring, and Beamer liked what he saw.

“I didn’t work Joey as much, just to get Riley and Justus [Hoffman] some reps,” Beamer said. “I think Joey had a solid spring, and Riley took a step forward and proved he could be a guy we could count on as our fullback. He took some steps. Coach [Bud] Foster referred to him this spring as a pit bull, and that’s a pretty accurate description. He’s a tough, nasty guy that will compete and battle and fight you.”

Also, Martin Scales deserves mentioning. He gives Beamer plenty of flexibility, with the ability to play both spots, and he also figures in heavily on special teams.



20 Michael Holmes (5-11, 208, r-Fr.)
4 J.C. Coleman (5-7, 176, Fr.)
25 Martin Scales (5-11, 226, r-Sr.)
39 Daniel Dyer (5-9, 198, r-Soph.)


45 Joey Phillips (5-11, 233, r-Sr.)
32 Riley Beiro (5-9, 232, r-Soph.)
31 Justus Hoffman (6-1, 261, r-Fr.)
46 Griffin Hite (5-11, 229, r-Fr.)

(Injured: Tony Gregory missed spring practice while recovering from ACL surgery.)