ORANGE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Darius Holmes is the swiss army knife any coach wishes they had. For Orange County this season, he's lined up as a quarterback, wide receiver and cornerback.

"I feel like it's something the coaches needed me to do and I just have to step up to the challenge anytime they need me to and it's just good for me to be at different aspects of the field because I can show my leadership to everybody," Holmes said.

That versatility and leadership crucial for first-year head coach Colston Bayless.

"Anytime you have players willing to go out of their comfort zone and go into positions that they're not used to playing -- that's huge for anybody," Bayless said. This year, we started a new scheme and things like that and he took the scheme really early and we put him at quarterback and he's done a really good job and he's willing to step up and accept that role."

But that level of maturity developed through personal tragedy when he lost his mother nearly six years ago.

"When that happened, I needed something to latch onto," Holmes said. "I mean that's a very traumatic experience. I feel like it was something that made me grow or mature more quickly and I guess out here it makes me a more mature individual."

"He's had to face things as a young man that a lot of players don't have to face and he's attacked those things the right way and it carries over to football and it carries over into his life," Bayless said.

That versatility extends beyond the field where he holds a 4.3 GPA, participates in the Governor's School and has aspirations to become an engineer.

"My sophomore year. I took a class that was based around engineering and making stuff and all the aspects of engineering I fell in love with and it's just something I've always wanted to do. Sports are only temporary and most people don't go to a level that they dream of, but as long as you have your mind, you can accomplish anything."