At 6-foot-7 and 285 pounds, Cole Thomas grabs attention as a high school freshman, even as someone who didn't play varsity football last season.
A 2019 recruit out of Bellevue High School in Bellevue, Washington, Thomas's father played for Washington and Thomas figures to be one of the more heavily recruiting offensive linemen in the state in the class.
Bellevue had four senior offensive line starts last season and Thomas figures to be in line for a potential starting job on the team as a sophomore this year.
Recently, Thomas visited Arizona State and Arizona on a family trip. He came away impressed with the Sun Devils.
"Being from Washington, you guys probably have 300 days of sun down here (in Arizona)," Thomas said. "It rarely cracks 70 maybe in the spring. I like the whole staff at Arizona State, they just made me feel so welcomed. Everyone was so friendly from the receptionist to the academic coaches to the tight end coach to the man in the recruiting department who toured me. They are a great group of guys."
Thomas said he's received the most interest from Washington early in his recruitment, which makes sense for multiple reasons. But he's being diligent about learning what other schools have to offer as well.
"I've taken about three visits to Washington, have met the head coach, met the recruiting coordinator and obviously my dad has ties there," Thomas said. "It's been a good experience though, you see all these guys, they're getting all these offers as juniors and seniors. Especially at my high school because the football program is pretty dominant, so there are always five or six guys signing on National Signing Day. For me, it's an honor, for a school to say, with all the players they have to recruit and can recruit, 'we're going to send this freshman a letter, or have this freshman on a visit,' it's really flattering.
"Schools could be spending all their time on 2017 kids but to get some of their interest has been really flattering to see. Mostly it's been Pac-12 schools. As I said I've been to Washington a few times, I visited Washington State, obviously Arizona State, and am going to Arizona."
A huge offensive lineman for his age, Thomas grew up wanting to play tight end, but he just out-grew the position.
"I've always been the biggest kid in class," Thomas said. "I haven't always weighed as much of course but as I started to get a little older and hit the weight room my weight has gone up. I always wanted to be a tight end because I was told I had a good pair of hands. I just like catching the football and scoring touchdowns is always cool but I saw there's a lot more opportunity for an offensive tackle. I think I hit my growth spurt in seventh grade. But since I was like 5 I grew about three inches every year, probably a little more seventh grade year. That's the year I had a big height difference over other kids."