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86 Days To Purdue Football: Gabe Holmes

Can the elusive breakout year finally come for the senior tight end?

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

Is it possible to get a reprieve on a reprieve of a breakout year? We'll find out this season. The prodigal breakout star of the offense, Gabe Holmes, was slated to be a star (again) last year, but a wrist injury ended his final season early. Fortunately for him, it was early enough in the season that he was able to redshirt and he gets one final chance to fulfill he great potential he has.

Gabe Holmes - Sr.

Hometown: Miramar, FL (Saint Thomas Aquinas)

Tight End

6'5", 247 pounds

2014 Projection: Starter at Tight End

It seems every year we enter the season saying this is when Gabe Holmes finally breaks out. Former coach Danny Hope was once quoted as saying, "The sky's the limit for Gabe Holmes" and that he had the potential to be a special player, comparing his ceiling to something most tight ends at the NFL combine couldn't match. Coming out of one of the top football high schools in the country as a tall, athletic tight end leads many to place high expectations on your shoulders, something Holmes has faced since Day 1 on campus. He was part of Hope's 2009 class that was billed as bringing the Florida swagger to Indiana.

The numbers have not been overwhelming so far. In 2012 he had 25 catches for 158 yards and two scores. This was after an 11-133-1 season in 2011 and a single catch for 14 yards in 2010. Last season he was on the verge of a good year with 9 catches for 69 yards in just two games before the injury bug hit.

Holmes has a chance to have a big year this year. His ceiling might be an all-B1G selection at tight end, but he has to get over the drops that have plagued him in the past.