STILLWATER – The media got a pleasant surprise on Wednesday when head coach Mike Gundy allowed a first-year player, transfer corner Christian Holmes, to be interviewed via Zoom.
With the departure of senior corner A.J. Green, Holmes was a welcome addition to the roster as he provided some experienced depth to a younger position group. Holmes transferred into the program this past spring from Missouri and has made an immediate impact on defense throughout the month of August.
Holmes, a 6-1, 200-pound graduate transfer, was asked on Wednesday why he chose Oklahoma State. To start, he’s certainly familiar with the Cowboys as they faced Missouri in the 2018 Liberty Bowl. But there were a couple of other reasons, mainly he’d be tested as a corner against a true passing game and the success Oklahoma State has had under Mike Gundy.
"I think my mind was made up when I wanted to prove to myself to get more tape of my ability,” Holmes said. “The ball is thrown a lot in the Big 12. I came here thinking about what I was doing at Missouri, I loved it there, but around here the past I don't know how many years you guys have been to a bowl game. I wanted to be a part of a winning team and take the next step with this team."
Another reason was because he knew he’d get plenty of reps.
"Probably just talking about depth in the Big 12, where you got tempo, you've got a lot of guys going, going, going on offense,” said Holmes. “So really depth. I just knew with my ability I could compete with any receiver in my eyes. I think that the team here we have guys obviously on defense with a lot of depth where I feel like I can contribute in any way possible. Whether that be special teams or anything. I just feel like I can contribute somehow."
As everyone knows, the past six months have been some of the most different and difficult times and not just for sports. So, not only would Holmes have had a short turnaround in a normal spring/summer, but the pandemic really threw a wrench into things as players are meeting and getting to know everyone virtually.
But Holmes mentioned how the transition was rather simple and it had to do with the mindset of the players and coaches.
"Really, it's just simple; really just the mindset all the players have here and the mindset the coaches have with just a winning mentality,” Holmes said. “It's just something I've always dreamed about being a part of. It's something that coach [Barry] Odom instilled in me and even coach [Mike] Gundy, and Amen [Ogbongbemiga] and the rest of the players. It's easy to fit in with them guys because we all have the same goal. It really was very simple."
Cowboy fans will get their first glimpse of Holmes in just a little over two weeks when Oklahoma State kicks off the season against Tulsa in Stillwater on September 12.