The Arizona Wildcats will be without a trio of four-year contributors at wide receiver next season as Samajie Grant, Trey Griffey and Nate Phillips are all set to graduate and depart from the program.
There is some uncertainty at the position moving forward, with a group of younger, smaller receivers seemingly next in line to take over.
While Arizona brings in a lot of size at wide receiver in this 2017 recruiting class, including 6-foot-5 Warren Jackson and 6-foot-4 Drew Dixon, the team still lacks Pac-12 experience at the position.
In early December, junior Notre Dame wide receiver Corey Holmes announced that he would seek a transfer after graduating in the summer, making him an eligible graduate transfer on the market for schools as a one-year rental.
Holmes, a 6-foot-1, 190 pound wide receiver, was a four-star prospect coming out of St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, FL), and was ranked No. 179 overall in the nation and no. 27 among all wide receivers. Holmes chose the Fighting Irish over Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Michigan, Oklahoma and UCLA among many others.
But after learning that he would be able to graduate early, mixed with some playing time frustrations, Holmes decided it was best to move on from Notre Dame.
“It was during the middle of this fall semester that I learned it would be possible to graduate in the summer. That was the biggest factor in making this decision,” Holmes said about his decision to transfer.
“Also in my time here I just didn't feel as though I had been treated fairly. I thought it would be necessary for me to take this action and find a place that would give me an opportunity to really show what I'm capable of.”
Holmes played two games as a freshman, but failed to record any statistics, then in his sophomore year, he was one of four scholarship sophomores who did not play a down. As a junior this past season, Holmes hauled in 11 catches for 96 yards, with his biggest performance coming in the final game of the season versus USC, in which he had four catches for 29 yards.
“He was never going to be a starter,” a Notre Dame source told me. “Guys jumped him on the depth chart and most of the receivers are coming back. He barely got a chance to play. But he can fly, get open, maybe the fastest (player) on the team.”
Holmes has two schools that have already reached out for him — North Carolina and Miami. That being said, Holmes told me he has high interest in Arizona and also wants to hear from Arizona State and UCLA. Holmes would like to go a school where he can emerge as a No. 1 receiver.
“After the season, when I decided I wanted to transfer, I took it upon myself to study the depth charts of schools around the country and I noticed that Arizona was going to be losing a couple of senior wide receivers,” Holmes said of his interest in Arizona.
“It was then that I had looked at some highlights of the team, and I found the offense to be pretty attractive.”
Holmes does not know when he will announce his future school, as he is still focusing on wrapping up classes through the summer of 2017 in order to graduate and transfer successfully.
“I guess just wait and see which other schools come forth with interest or reach out to a school via social to see if there is mutual interest. I haven't yet been in contact with any (Arizona) coaches but I'd hope to in the near future,” Holmes said.
You can watch his National Signing Day highlights here: