- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
Poet Thomas (Beverly Hills, Mich./Country Day) sent his highlight tape to schools with plays almost exclusively along the defensive line. He now has four offers, but all of them are to play on offense.
Colorado, Eastern Michigan, Florida and Toledo have all offered Thomas, who stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 290 pounds. A number of teams across the Big Ten and Atlantic Coast are also showing interest in Thomas.
The Gators are clearly the “name brand” offer among Thomas’ four, and he remembers watching Florida during the Tim Tebow years. Gators assistant Bryant Young is recruiting Thomas, and even a defensive line coach like Young could appreciate talent on the offensive line when he sees it.
“I talked to coach Bryant two or three times prior of getting the offer,” Thomas said. “He said I was athletic, know how to use my hands, pick up my feet, have really good footwork to play left tackle or guard even. They really like what I did on film.”
Considering his only other offer at the time was from Toledo, the offer from Florida “caught me off guard to be honest,” he said.
“I never thought I’d be getting a scholarship from them,” Thomas said. “I didn’t know what to think. I was just speechless. I’m still kind of speechless.”
Colorado followed with an offer a few days later, and Thomas said the staff there relayed a lot of the same observations about his game as Florida did.
One of Thomas’ more interesting offers came Monday when Eastern Michigan offered. On the surface it wouldn’t appear an offer from EMU would be overly significant considering Thomas already has two BCS offers, but the Thomas family has some history with the program. Thomas’ father played basketball for the Eagles.
“It was nice,” he said of the offer. “To be honest my dad was kind of asking ‘have you talked to Eastern lately? I was wondering what’s going on.’”
Thomas’ spring break is coming soon, and he is hoping to make some visits over the next few weeks and months. He said a trip to Florida at some point is a definite during either spring break or after the school year ends. Trips to Michigan and Wisconsin could come much sooner, though.
Michigan State received a visit from Thomas during its junior day Saturday, and he said the trip went well.
“I like what I saw, liked the campus,” he said. “The coaches are nice and polite. It was nice talking to the coaches, talked to the offensive line coach. Everything went well up there.”
513dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert