Running back Caziah Holmes is no longer with the Penn State Nittany Lions football program
Running back Caziah Holmes, who arrived at Penn State in 2020 as a 4-star rookie from Florida, is no longer on the roster, a team official confirmed Saturday. 247Sports’ Tyler Donohue broke the news for the first time.
Holmes participated in the open portion of Penn State’s practice on Wednesday, but was not on the roster Saturday morning. He will have four years of college eligibility left, after donning a red shirt in 2021 and earning the bonus year due to COVID-19 in 2020.
Holmes, who played at Cocoa High, looked like an escape player in 2020, when he rushed 51 times for 227 yards and two touchdowns. He saw limited action last season, however, rushing for 27 yards on five carries in three games. Holmes played in just one Big Ten game last season, rushing for 15 all-purpose yards against Rutgers.
Holmes dealt with injuries at Penn State, prompting position coach Ja’Juan Seider to say during the offseason that “it’s hard to make the club when you’re in the tub.”
The emergence of first-year running backs Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen has created significant competition, according to head coach James Franklin. Seider said the freshmen made the program “more challenging.”
“What these kids have done for our team, in my opinion, has made us tougher,” Seider said. “They made the older guys tougher, they made them competitive. The offensive line blocked differently. They made our defensive tackle different. Because they run with an attitude like they’re pissed off every play, that’s what you have to I have to play in this position.”
The Lions now have four scholarship running backs, with veterans Keyvone Lee and Devyn Ford returning along with Singleton and Allen. Seider, who has turned around in the past, recently said that “absolutely” the best will play.
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“This is not the era of rights,” Seider said. “My job is to win. If I play the best player and he doesn’t help us win, there will be someone else coaching them. If you are the best player in your junior or senior year , then you have to act like that.”
Holmes (5-foot-11, 217 pounds) should have multiple opportunities with four years of eligibility remaining. He was on the States first team at Cocoa High as a senior, when he rushed for 1,472 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Holmes also has a clothing line through the Vintage brand.
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AllPennState is the place for Penn State news, views and insights on the SI.com Network. Editor Mark Wogenrich covered Penn State for more than 20 years, tracking three coaching teams, three Big Ten titles and a catalog of great stories. Follow him on Twitter @MarkWogenrich. And remember to subscribe (button on the homepage) for more quality content on the SI.com network.