- Max Olson, ESPN Staff Writer
While many of the state of Texas’ biggest 2014 recruiting targets toiled at Sunday’s UT camp, defensive end Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell) was hanging out in Hollywood.
Thomas spent the weekend in Los Angeles and attended UCLA’s camp Saturday. The trip out west was the first of many he plans to take in the next few months.
The 6-foot-3, 245-pound defensive lineman attended Texas’ June 3 camp and is planning to camp at USC and Stanford later this summer.
“I like California a lot, but I’m not saying I’d choose a school because of its state,” Thomas said. “All three of those California schools also have great academics, and so does Texas. Stanford came by our school this spring and I’m going to camp there. And USC, we’re doing a summer vacation up there, so why not go to the camp and check out the campus?”
Despite Thomas’ early interest in Pac-12 programs, the Longhorns are still slightly ahead of the rest for the talented junior-to-be after impressing him during the program’s first one-day camp this month.
“Right now they’re a little bit above the others in my top three,” he said. “I kind of have my top three figured out: Texas, UCLA and Stanford. But I’m still very young.”
Thomas enjoyed the opportunity to compete alongside Texas commits Jake Raulerson and Daeshon Hall and against Andrew Billings during the Longhorns’ camp, and he appreciated getting to spend time with defensive ends coach Oscar Giles.
“I think I did pretty good,” Thomas said. “My goal was just to work my butt off and show the coaches I’m hard-working and coachable. I hope I did that.
“I like Coach Giles a lot and Coach [Mack] Brown and Coach [Bo] Davis. They’re really good coaches and you can tell they have the experience and credibility. I felt like I trusted them when they talked me to, and I get a good feeling about them.”
Giles told Thomas he could be used in a variety of ways on Texas’ defensive line if he comes to Austin -- even as a one- or three-technique defensive tackle. He tried out nearly every spot on the defensive line during his UT camp experience.
At the end of the camp, Brown told Thomas he had a great day and that Texas is looking at him as a potential junior day offer.
“I liked Texas a lot,” Thomas said. “It’s where I’ve been playing football all my life, and I like Austin. I like the coaches, I like the campus, and I know some players there.”
18hMax Olson and Matt Fortuna