ALBANY, N.Y. – The UAlbany football team is giving Dev Holmes a second chance, and according to the Troy High grad, he’s ready to make the most of it.
In an Instagram post Thursday night, the wide receiver announced his intention to return to the Great Danes.
Holmes had quit the team in September after the first four games of 2019. His numbers were down from the season before, catching just six passes for 36 yards and no touchdowns through three games. He was suspended for the fourth game after violating an undisclosed team rule.
He told News10 ABC Sports Director Liana Bonavita that issues both on and off the field played into his decision to leave, including “having to change [his] major last spring, not playing to what [he is] capable of, and wanting to redshirt to step away from the game for a season to get everything back in order.”
Following the move, UAlbany Head Coach Greg Gattuso denied Holmes a one-time transfer exemption that would have allowed him to play next season at another Division I program.
In the wake of the fallout, Holmes said he “sat back and thought over everything,” and UAlbany was still his best option. Holmes is 30 credits away from graduating, which he expects to do in the fall. Using his redshirt year for this past season, he would have three seasons left of eligibility, which would allow him to get his masters by the time he’s done playing football.
Holmes said he and Gattuso have been in contact through the entire process, and the idea of staying at UAlbany came up in early December.
In a statement released Friday by the UAlbany athletic department, Head Coach Greg Gattuso said:
Dev recently came to me about the possibility of returning to the UAlbany football team. After a series of meetings with my Athletic Director, coaches, and leaders of our football team, we agreed that Dev deserved a second chance and would be given the opportunity to rejoin the team as a walk-on.
Dev is a great student who wants to earn a degree from UAlbany, and do so as a member of the football team. I’m big on second chances under the right circumstances. I like Dev, and I think he has great potential. I think the opportunity for Dev to earn his way back on this football team is something everyone is in favor of.
Holmes will lose his scholarship for the spring. His intention is to prove how badly he wants to be part of the team, and possibly earn his scholarship back in the fall.
“Not the approach I planned before everything happened,” he said, “but it happened, and moved on from it, learned from it, and time to put it in the past.”
Holmes’ return could help boost a wide receiving corps that is losing three players to graduation, including All-American Juwan Green and Jerah Reeves, who combined for 24 receiving touchdowns on 159 catches for 2,344 yards. Holmes said he will have to guide the incoming receivers and be more of a leader. He added that his teammates are welcoming him back with open arms so far.
There was some speculation early in the season that Holmes was frustrated with starting quarterback Jeff Undercuffler, but he refuted those claims Thursday night saying, “Jeff and I will be fine with the chemistry. he’s always down to put in extra work with me. Even when I left the team, me and him would go throw on the off days. Should be exciting!”
Holmes led the Great Danes as a freshman with 50 catches for 734 yards, and found the end zone five times.
In high school, Holmes helped lead the Flying Horses to consecutive undefeated seasons and two state championships.