NOTE: Brewster Academy does not begin classes until 9/9 so the Memphis visit and others will change
The summer couldn't have gone better if he'd written out a script. Thomas Robinson, a 6-foot-8 power forward out of Brewster Academy, dominated at the Reebok All-American Camp. In turn, his recruitment blew up.
"It's happening so fast," Robinson said. "I didn't think it would look anywhere near this. I had George Washington and that was it going into summer.
"I don't want to sound cocky but I realized it was different the last day of Reebok (camp); or the second day at Reebok. The rankings came out for camp and I remember they had me above Renardo Sidney and that was a surprise to me. I didn't realize I was playing that good. That was a shocker."
An explosive athlete, Robinson's pre-summer No. 73 ranking doesn't reflect where he'll end up. This is a potentially elite player in the class along the lines of a James Thomas clone. In July, Thomas found out that once he achieve a certain status, others being measuring themselves by you.
"There was a point I realized I might be good but I've got to keep working. There are going to be people coming at me with the same attitude. I wanted to knock them off and now they're coming at me."
For a two-week stretch, it seemed like every program in the country wanted a piece of him. At Reebok, his name rolled off the lips of the best college coaches in the country. Everyone wanted a chance to coach the guy who pursued rebounds like it was his job and showed enough offense to be a force.
In early August, his list was sliced to five schools (for the time being). "Actually, you could say it's finalized. I'm going to Memphis on (Sept.) 6th. I'll visit USC also the weekend of the 13th. Kansas, we don't have an exact date yet; either Sept. 20 or Midnight Madness.
"Then, we don't have an official date for Miami. Also, I want to visit Texas but we haven't been able to talk to the coach. We don't have it set up but I want to visit them. That's my five visits. Who knows? I might like the first one."
Kansas, Memphis, Southern Cal, Texas and Miami made the cut. "I really like Memphis, Kansas and USC right now," Robinson said. He also cautioned that if he went on a visit and liked the school, he could end the process at any time.
"We did the evaluating. I went by conferences and what teams made the tournament the past five years. I also looked at the rebounders for the big men, the draft picks and the playing style. Plus who they got and who they're bringing in."
When it comes to rebounding, Thomas is right there with the best of them in the Class of 2009. He's so strong that he's almost at the point of being physically intimidating to his peers. A mild-mannered, well-spoken young man, Thomas comes off as a beast on the court. However, his muscles aren't the product of hours in the weight room. He's done it Herschel Walker-style.
"I do push ups. I found it easier and then it started working. It gives definition to my body and tones my arms out. Before I go to sleep I'll do a 100 in sets of 25. When I wake up, the same thing. I lift but not consistently."