Good evening Falcon fans. My name is Charlotte Bobcat, and I'm sure it's not hard to tell that I am a Bobcat's fan. I am also a Panthers fan. :) Either way, I'm a fan of these teams because I've been a North Carolina resident my entire life. I was born and raised in Gastonia, NC and happen to be a friend of your 3rd round draft pick, Lamar Holmes.
I met Lamar back in 2001, when I began dating his sister. At that time, he was just a chubby kid trying to find his way. Though I was about 6 years older than him, he was still bigger than me and I always knew he would develop into a monster. At that point, he had to be about 6'0 and 240+ pounds, in middle school. He wasn't a particularly good athlete at that point as he had trouble coordinating his steps. "Raw" would be a great word to describe him. But what can you really expect from a youngster? His father Anthony (who was about 6'6 250+ pounds himself) stayed in Lamar and his brother Devon's ear about doing the right thing and doing it the right way all the time. And so did his mother Harriete. Because of that, from early on, a humble approach was instilled in Lamar. I was given the task of tutoring Lamar one time by his mother for a class he was having trouble in. I honestly felt kind of weird about tutoring anyone, and when he was dropped off at my house, I was really just planning on letting him play my PS2 the entire time and to just tell his mom we were studying. When he got there, instead of heading straight for the joysticks, he was all business and showed me a will to learn and a will to succeed. A desire to really learn everything that he was missing. He was focused. Sure, we played Madden (now he'll be on Madden, it's so surreal) later on that day, but not before he made sure he had an understanding of the things he was having problems on. Coming from the area we do, you don't find too many kids with that attitude.
There have been a ton of "potential" players that have come out of my area (Gaston County, former Seahawks WR Koren Robinson was one), but none have really put it together. Let me tell you, the fact that Lamar has even been able to come this far is a sign to those of us that know him that he is in fact "putting it together". He didn't go the usual route of getting through college. He attended a community college in MI, got his mind right, transferred to Southern Miss, and the rest is already history.
I really don't know what I'm trying to say here. I usually can translate my feelings much better than this but I've discovered it's hard writing when the situation hits so close to home. I can't tell you that Lamar is going to come out and dominate. I can't tell you that his footwork is great. I can't tell you that he'll be focused on every single play (all that you're worried about, I've read the post).
But what I can tell you is that this man has NEVER been in a bit of trouble. I can tell you that this man respects his parents to the fullest extent and would never do anything do disappoint them. I can tell you that this man is FOCUSED on nothing but success and has a family in place that will do everything they can to see him succeed and not bring him down. I can tell you that as a friend of Lamar, I see the same thing in him that your general manager seen to make him a 3rd round pick as opposed to the later rounds he was projected that (I was hoping the Panthers would take him, we had him in for a workout before the draft). This kid will be good. He has the will to learn, the personality to be an excellent teammate, and if you didn't know, he is a monster and has better combine stats than a lot of the top picks. His father recently had a stroke and that's kind of worn on him a bit, but at the same time, he's using it as motivation to do even better to make sure he and everyone around him is well taken care of.
I honestly think a lot of you guys will be pleasantly surprised by what Lamar has to offer. But I'm just letting you guys know that it wouldn't surprise me if Lamar turns into a Pro Bowl caliber player because all he has are football and family. You won't catch him at the club making it rain, or involved in scandals like Pac Man or anyone. All you have is a player ready to play ball and be all he can be. And as a fan, I don't know how much more you can ask for than a man giving 100% all the time. That's Lamar Holmes. Always humble, always trying to be better. And even as a Panther fan, I can safely say that Atlanta is my second favorite team now. Good luck Falcons!!!
Little brother Tony Holmes will be in the league soon and be a monster as well!