For weeks, Lakewood hurdler Tim Holmes did his best to keep his college decision a secret. But his wardrobe gave it away as soon as he walked into the school's cafeteria Wednesday morning for his signing ceremony.
Holmes was sporting a Baylor T-shirt and hat. His entire family also had on Baylor shirts. So it was anticlimactic when Holmes sat at a table, grabbed a microphone and announced he would become a Bear.
"I already had my mind made up, so I might as well let it be known where I was going," Holmes said.
Holmes had narrowed his choices to Baylor and Florida in the past month. He visited the Gators on Sunday, a day after finishing second in the 110 hurdles and winning the 300 hurdles at the Class 2A state meet to help the Spartans win the overall team title.
He said his decision came down to scholarship money. Baylor offered a full scholarship;Florida was offering enough to cover room, books and a few other expenses, Holmes said.
"I wanted to go to Florida since I was little," Holmes said. "If they offered a full scholarship, it would have been a real tough decision."
Holmes went on an official visit to Baylor two weeks ago. During his recruiting trip, he met several alumni, including Michael Johnson, Jeremy Wariner and Sanya Richards.
"Sanya said she would be my practice partner in the 400 because she only works out with the guys," Holmes said. "That was pretty cool."
By signing with the Bears, Holmes will join his best friend, Gibbs sprinter Trayvon Bromell, in college.
Holmes was part of a late signing day bonanza at Lakewood, where eight others also made their college decisions official.
Rebecca Halfast will swim at Indian River State College. Cornelius Copeland will play baseball at St. Petersburg College.
Three football players, Malcolm Ervin (Methodist), Lidell Golden Jr. (Garden City Community College) and Adrian Palmore (Morgan State), received athletic scholarships. Three others, Muhammad Barrow (USF), Zamarie Johnson (Gardner-Webb) and Robert Leeks (Florida A&M), received academic scholarship and will walk on to play football.
Spartans coach Cory Moore said Shane Allen will play at Warner and Austin Copeland will play at Garden City Community College. Four others, Ryan Cooper (Bethune Cookman), Anthony Haugabook (Greensboro), Laterian Latimer (USF) and Gary Sherman (Florida Atlantic), will be walk-ons.
* * *
Gibbs' Bromell invited to elite national sprint event
Gibbs sprinting sensation Trayvon Bromell received a golden ticket to run in the Adidas Grand Prix Dream 100, a prestigious event that brings together the nation's top high school sprinters to compete in a 100-meter race. The race is May 25 at Icahn Stadium in New York. Bromell said he likely got the invitation based on his performance at the Class 3A region meet last week, when he won the 100 in 10.14 - currently the fastest non-wind-aided time in the nation this season. "I was trying to get a time fast enough to get me invited," Bromell said. "I think that's what did it, that's what punched my ticket to New York."