By Outer Banks Voice on August 27, 2021
Roman Gabriel III had the opportunity to sit down with former Ravens and Chiefs All-Pro running back Priest Holmes. Holmes and Emmitt Smith are the only backs in NFL history to rush for 20 touchdowns in consecutive seasons.
Although a neck injury cut Holmes’ career short, this undrafted free agent left the game with a Super Bowl ring from the Baltimore Ravens. He also held most of the Kansas City Chiefs rushing records. In addition to his play on the field, his reputation off the field has been one of a positive role model.
In the interview, Holmes speaks about his current passions: his foundation, School of the Legends, and his commitment to help young people to reach their dreams and goals, and put their faith in God.
Roman Gabriel: What is it you miss most about the NFL on and off the field?
Priest Holmes: I miss the touchdowns. That’s exciting – getting 70,000 people out of the seats screaming and yelling, the chance to know your teammates off the field. We would meet at Tony Richardson’s house. [The] first hour we’d talk about each other and whoever messed up that week … then work with the young guys breaking down film, how to pick up blitzes, make the linebacker reads. That’s the part I miss.
RG: We have heard a lot about the word “platform” from athletes. What is your platform?
PH: I am able to do three things: Work with students, be a motivational speaker to former players, and most of all my foundation where we are able to give back to the community.
RG: Tell me about your program “School of the Legends.”
PH: It’s [an] interactive site for former NFL players. Once guys retire they fade. They disappear. They are no longer involved in their communities. With former players they have a voice and a huge platform they have been given. It’s to their advantage to take full advantage of that opportunity and give back. This gives these guys an opportunity to be engaged in the community. If you want to know what I am up to you can go online to School of the Legends. See the updates. The biggest thing is that fans can be a participant in all the different things players have going on. After experiencing advantages that not many people have, if [a player] can reach back and grab a hand and pull somebody up it means the world to them. Fans can go to School of the Legends at sotl.com to be online and interactive with NFL players. My foundation is priestholmesfoundation.org.
RG: What is the most important message that you want young people to know?
PH: Having faith is something that is very important. I always talk about having an Ace of Spades. It could be that parent, that grandmother, that uncle that speaks to your life. If they told you you were special … that God has made you the person who is invincible and you have the ability to bounce back … you have character. It is encouraging to know at the end of the day when everybody says you can’t do something … that this special person told me I am somebody, that I am a incredible person and that I have a God who loves me.
PH: The biggest point I make is to find something you are good at. Find something you have a passion about and you show up. You go to the things you feel strongest about. If it’s sports you stick to that. If its being involved in the community you stick to that. I can tell you this. I have seen so many guys that had incredible careers just … throw it all away to something that is considered [an] addiction that they could not get rid of. Always lean on that fact that you have something special about you and that you have years to experience and years to give something back to your school and community.
RG: It’s obvious your faith has played a huge role in your life?
PH: At the end of the day faith is huge, because it is the substance of things unseen and the evidence of things seen. I could never tell you how my career would be shaped or formed, but I had the faith to believe that if I put my left foot in front of my right foot and continued to walk down the path that was given to me there would be success at some point. I am very fortunate to be a motivational speaker and [an] encouragement to students.
The Roman Gabriel Show Radio Program can be heard every Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 am on the Score 98.1 FM, and the Roman Gabriel Show Minute can be heard morning and afternoon drive on the East Carolina Radio Network in Dare County NC. The Roman Gabriel Show Podcast is available at www.romangabrielshow.com anywhere you listen to podcasts. Faith Family Sports™