ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Early during the 2004 NCAA football season, when all the Floridian children were at home watching the Miami Hurricanes or Florida Gators, 8-year-old Corey Holmes flipped on the television and saw the winged helmet for the first time.
The colors caught his eye at first -- the way the maize contrasted itself against the blue. He turned the volume up as the TV camera zoomed out, showing the 100,000-plus crowd. And when wide receiver Braylon Edwards took off down the field, diving for catches and climbing over opponents, Holmes noticed how he somehow appeared larger than life in that massive stadium.
That was all it took. He was sold.