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Holmes arrested

BLACKSBURG - Virginia Tech tailback Michael Holmes is being held at Montgomery County jail on two counts of simple assault and one count of malicious wounding, according to a spokesman for the jail. The sophomore from Harrisonburg is being held without bail.

A statement from the Blacksburg Police Department said Holmes was arrested after police responded to a call about a fight on the 200 block of College Avenue at 1:50 a.m. Sunday.

The 6-foot, 215-pound Holmes is scheduled to be arraigned Monday morning in General District Court in Christiansburg, a source said.

One victim was taken to LewisGale Medical Center with undisclosed injuries. Two other victims were treated at the scene.

The malicious wounding charge, a Class A felony, will carry an automatic suspension from the football team until Holmes’ case is resolved, per university policy.

Holmes was the Group AA player of the year as a junior and senior at Harrisonburg High School. After redshirting as a true freshman, he opened last season as the team’s starting tailback, taking over for record-setting tailback David Wilson, now with the New York Giants.

Holmes started five games last year, finishing the season with 280 yards and four touchdowns.

“It wasn’t as good as everybody wanted. And it wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be,” Holmes, speaking last week after a practice, said of his season. “I had big shoes to fill. I had to live up to the expectations of the back before me. It was a lot of pressure.”

Holmes suffered a thigh contusion in practice the week of the Nov. 8 Florida State game when he was kneed in the leg by a teammate.

“My leg was just stiff and it couldn’t get better because it was starting to get cold,” Holmes said last week. “So I just never really recovered from that.”

This spring, he’s competed with redshirt freshman Trey Edmunds and sophomore J.C. Coleman for the starting job.

In Saturday’s spring game, Holmes was the Hokies leading rusher, gaining 24 yards on seven carries.

“Well, the main thing I’ve gotten better at is being a leader,” Holmes said after the game. “I played last year, so I’ve been trying to get all the young bucks together, keep them working hard. The thing we’re going to work on the most is being consistent. Just grinding, putting in work, trying to get better.”

Holmes gained about five pounds of muscle this offseason. The added strength, combined with his experience on the field this past season, had Holmes more prepared to be a featured back, he said.

“ Most definitely. I feel a lot more comfortable than I used to,” Holmes said. “I feel like I hit the hole a lot harder than I used to, stronger.”

His coaches have also been impressed.

“I think Michael’s playing with a lot more confidence right now,” Tech running backs coach Shane Beamer said last week. “Last year he was the starter but he had never played a college game before. It was still new to him. It’s really him. It’s not like we had a long heart to heart. He was not happy with the way things finished last year. From the offseason on, he’s playing with a lot of confidence. I think he’s running more physical. We kid him, he’s kind of got his swag back, to use that lingo. Love the way he’s playing and the way that he’s competing. He’s playing with great energy. Really like what he’s doing right now.”

New offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler praised Holmes consistency.

“Michael Holmes has had a really consistent spring, probably as consistent as anybody on the team, I think,” Loeffler said. “He’s done some really good things. He’s picked things p really quickly. I’m really happy where he’s at.”

That was last week. Now, Holmes is in jail.