When you’re an NFL scout, especially one for 15-years, as New York Giants‘ Director of College Scouting Chris Pettit has been, chances are you’ve come across an anomaly or two when it comes to a certain type of drive you may not see in the typical person.
However, it’s somewhat rare to come across a player who simply blows you away from a work ethic point of view amongst a league littered with hardworking, elite-level athletes. Yet, that’s exactly what the team’s 4th-round draft pick out of UCLA did to Pettit.
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Giants Scout Praises Darnay Holmes
The selection of cornerback Darnay Holmes by the Giants atop Round 4 of last month’s draft has been showered with praise, from sports media outlets to NFL Hall of Famers.
If Pettit’s comments in a post-draft interview with Giants.com is any indication, you likely shouldn’t expect the lauding of the selection to be reeled in anytime soon. As Pettit has deemed the 5-foot-10-inch, 195-pound California native one of the hardest working players he’s ever come across in his nearly two decades scouting NFL prospects.
Darnay Holmes is someone, we interviewed him down at the Senior Bowl. He’s really at the top of it, just the way he came in and took over the room. He’s one of the hardest working players that I’ve evaluated in my career. All of the stuff that I’ve gotten back and all of the positive qualities about him. I’m really excited about what he’s going to bring to our team.
Holmes Wanted to be ‘Just Like Pops’
Darnay Holmes is not the first member of his family to make it to the NFL. His father, Darick Holmes played running back for five seasons in the pros, as Darnay pointed out in a terrific Players’ Tribune piece that is certainly worth the read.
“He taught me about a lot of things, actually, but especially about football,” Holmes said of his father Darick. “He played running back in the NFL for five years — spent four of them with the Bills — and even though I was too young to remember watching him play, you better believe he put on the tape for me and my brother more than a few times.
The 5-foot-10-inch cornerback noted, “I didn’t get his size,” reiterating to his father’s 6-foot, nearly 240-pound frame, “but he taught me how to play big — how to turn speed and athleticism into violent collisions, and how to make sure that you enforce your will on every play.”
Darnay continued to praise his father for instilling the work ethic that has helped him realize his dream of making it to the NFL. “He also taught me that if you want to be the best at what you do — the very top, top tier — you need to operate every day knowing that somebody else is gunning for you. And they’re putting in the work. Are you?”
Holmes says that growing up around his father made it quite clear from an early age what he wanted to do professionally. “Being around him made it really easy to fall in love with football. And it’s honestly the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do with my life — excel in high school, distinguish myself in college, and then make it to the league, just like Pops.”
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