Getting to Know Andre Holmes

Q: Your dad played basketball for DePaul, helping them to several NCAA tournament apperances. How did you end up playing football?

Holmes:"I always thought I was going to be in the NBA, throughout my whole life and it really just worked out to where I excelled in football in high school. I never started playing football until high school and I played four years of football, but I didn't really actually play until my senior year on Varsity. I played basketball and soccer growing up and then when I got to high school it was basketball, track and football."

Q: What did you like most about football?

Holmes:"I think it was just something different. In basketball I was starting to get really tired of practice and it was just, football is just fun, it's something new. And, I was pretty good at it, catching the ball and everything, but I never got really good until I got into college."

Q: How did you end up playing wide receiver? Was it just the position you were best at?

Holmes:"Yeah, I think that's the type of build that I had. My freshman year that was just the position that they put me in and that I wanted to play I think. Even when I would play in elementary school in recess or whatever, I was a receiver. It was just something that I guess came natural."

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Q: How do you think being on the track team in college helped you in football?**

Holmes:"I think it helped me early on when I was in high school because I was able to realize that I was pretty fast. I wasn't fast until about senior year, that was when I got fast and knowing that I was fast kind of helped my confidence in knowing what type of player I could be. I think in college it was more that I loved track so much and I really wanted to give it a shot in college. I always wanted to do track in college, so that's what I did."

Q: What was the transition like coming from a small school to the NFL?

Holmes:"I think the biggest transition for me was just the speed of the game because in college I was the fastest guy on the field, I was one of the bigger guys and everything. I think the hardest thing for me coming in right away was that everybody was fast and everybody was strong and could keep up and was really quick. I think that was my biggest struggle coming in."

Q: What's it like to know that you're one of six to make it to the NFL from Hillsdale College?

Holmes:"It's an honor, especially coming out of a small school like that where really, everyone in our conference doesn't expect us athletically to compete. We're usually thought of, especially when I came in, as an underdog, so it was an honor to be able to represent Hillsdale in that way. I'm sure that Jared [Veldheer] felt the same way and also a few players that I played with, they actually made it to rookie camps and one guy was a practice squad player for a year and a few in training camp and I'm sure they feel the same way."

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Q: You're currently having one of your most productive seasons yet. What is your connection like with Derek Carr this season?**

Holmes:"I think he has a lot of trust in me and he has a lot of trust in the rest of the receivers and tight ends. I think we're all growing together. I know that I still have some experience and so we're all growing and we're just getting a connection right now."

Q: Where have you seen the most growth in your game?

Holmes:"I think the growth that I've seen so far is being able to get off the line against DB's and really not ever feeling like I'm over-matched against the best corners in the league. I feel like anyone I go against I could beat, so I think that type of confidence is where I'm seeing a lot of growth."

Q: What has been your biggest motivator in the league?

Holmes:"I think my biggest motivator is really proving people wrong. Not necessarily anyone in general, but I know there are people that think that, even coming into my career in the NFL, didn't really think that I could do it, think that I could stay in this league. So, just doing that and I guess another motivator is people that are close to me, I want to show out for them. I want to play well for them. It really means a lot to me when I get compliments from people that are close to me. Those are the type of things that I play for. I think my son is going to be coming after the Kansas City game. That's another motivator."

Q: What are some of your hobbies when you're not playing football?

Holmes:"I play a lot of video games. I love basketball, so I watch it, especially in the NBA Season I watch basketball all the time. I'm a huge Chicago Bulls fan. I like to play basketball but I don't get to play it that often. I know when I'm done with my career I'll probably be in the gym a lot."

Q: What is your favorite football memory to date?

Holmes:"I would say my favorite memory would have to be when in college we had beat Grand Valley State University, who in our conference, hadn't lost in about seven years, eight years. When I came into Hillsdale, we consistently 5-6, so that season we went to the playoffs but we beat Grand Valley off a field goal at the end of the game. That was one of the greatest moments I've had. As far as in the NFL, I think my greatest moment would have to be, I don't know, I think there are a lot of great moments. Like against the Chargers this year, that 70-something yard touchdown, that was a crazy moment for me. Long touchdowns don't happen that often, so that was a lot of adrenaline; that was amazing. I would have to say that was my best moment in the NFL."

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