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Friday, January 11, 2013
Three on top for three-star Poet Thomas

By Jared Shanker

Three-star Poet Thomas (Beverly Hills, Mich./Country Day) is being recruited as an offensive and defensive lineman, but his recruitment is not coming down to which schools want him at which position. Thomas is down to a final group, and he is looking at those schools he feels want him the most.

The 6-foot-5, 290-pound offensive tackle/defensive tackle has a top three of Kansas, Old Dominion and West Virginia, and he will officially visit all three before signing day. His first visit will come the weekend of Jan. 18 and it will go to the Jayhawks.

Kansas coach Charlie Weis wants Thomas as an offensive lineman, and Thomas is intrigued at the idea of playing for the former NFL assistant coach.

“I like the fact Coach Weis is doing some good things with putting offensive linemen in the NFL, which is a key thing for me,” Thomas said.

Thomas is not concerned with the lack of success in Lawrence, as he believes the program is on the verge of flourishing under Weis based on his first season and the recruiting class he is bringing in.

Following his visit to Kansas, Thomas will head east to visit Old Dominion the weekend of Jan. 25. The Monarchs are an FCS program but are moving up to the FBS in 2015. Thomas, who would play defensive line at Old Dominion, said the coaches convinced him the Monarchs won’t take a step back when they change subdivisions.

“Their coaches believe in what they’re doing, and when they go to [Conference USA] they’re not expecting change from winning,” Thomas said. “They expect to play in a bowl game.

“They need guys at defensive tackle, and believe I can be the guy to step up and help them out on the defensive side of the ball.”

The last visit will go to West Virginia, although the Mountaineers have not offered Thomas. The coaching staff told Thomas it is still looking at his transcripts and grades before offering.

Offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh likes Thomas as an offensive tackle.

“He told me he likes what he sees [on film],” Thomas said. “He thinks I’m very athletic and thinks I move my feet and hands well.”

A decision will likely come a week before signing day after his West Virginia trip, but he admits he could commit sooner, possibly on a visit.