In a matter of a few months, Ben Holmes went from being a high draft pick in the USFL to being released by the Generals, and now on to Canada to try and find a new playing home with Montreal.
It’s been quite the whirlwind for Ben Holmes’s pro career. At college, the former Tarleton State Texans signal-caller, Ben Holmes, went 23-2 as a starting QB, the best mark in school history. Including an 11-1 record his senior season (2019), with 34 passing TDs and three interceptions. Holmes finished his career with the fifth-most passing yards (5,997), the most passing yards per game (262.3), and the second-most passing touchdowns (62) in the program’s history.
Holmes played in the Spring League in 2021 with the Sea Lions. And was one of the chosen players in the USFL quarterback draft pool by league management.
Ben Holmes inclusion in the USFL draft led to him being selected fourth overall in the first round by the New Jersey Generals. It shocked some that veteran head coach Mike Riley would choose Holmes to be his starting quarterback over more experienced options at the position.
Despite the fanfare and hype attached to the selection of Ben Holmes. His time with the Generals ended abruptly in a controversial fashion. New Jersey released Ben Holmes just a few days into training camp. He went on social media to tell people that his release was due to a foot injury two weeks before the season.
However, on the debut episode of the USFL’s weekly documentary series, ‘United By Football.’ The video footage of Holmes’s release told a different tale. After frustration with Ben Holmes’s performance during practices. Mike Riley decided to bring in veteran Luis Perez to replace Holmes as the team’s starter. The injury to Holmes’s foot is not brought up on the show as the reasoning for his release.
The United By Football documentary had its own separate controversy when Pittsburgh MaulersRB De’Veon Smith was released by head coach Kirby Wilson over his alleged disrespect and actions towards a cafeteria employee when he voiced displeasure over not being given pizza for lunch.
‘Pizza Gate’ overshadowed the release of Ben Holmes on the same show.
Obviously, Ben Holmes is putting his brief stint in the USFL behind him to try and play quarterback in the CFL, where he will learn behind star signal-caller Vernon Adams and veteran Trevor Harris. The Alouettes also have one of Canada’s most legendary players Anthony Calvillo as the team’s QB coach. So that is quite the learning tree for Holmes to learn from.
Many American quarterbacks have made the journey to Canada and have attempted to make the difficult transition of playing QB in the CFL. The ones who have made successful careers up north have shown dedication, patience, and commitment to reprogramming themselves. Ben Holmes is taking the plunge to further his career. But it’s in an entirely different league than he initially envisioned playing for in the Spring.