BYU gets fast offensive tackle commit

After coming home from a family vacation, big 6-foot-6-inch, 260-pound Thomas Shoaf spoke to Coach Weber and gave him a verbal commitment.

Thomas Shoaf had been recruited by BYU for some time now. While on a two-week vacation with his family, Shoaf came to a final conclusion on where to attend college.

"I had been in New York on vacation with the family for the past two weeks," said Shoaf, who is from Indiana. "I kind of thought it over when I was gone and decided BYU was the place for me."

Shoaf also had offers from Indiana, Iowa and Ball State. While in New York, Shoaf had time to collect his thoughts and think things over.

"Yeah, I just had time to clear my mind and think about it more," he said. "We were near Rochester, which is in the western part of New York."

Just 20 miles southeast of the city of Rochester lies the quant little town of Palmyra, where the Joseph Smith farm is located. The Shoaf family was visiting some prominent LDS historical sites.

"We met some family and we went to go see some church stuff," Shoaf said. "We went out to go see the Hill Cumorah Pageant. It was really a great experience. I kind of had some feelings about BYU before I left. I just wanted to take a couple of weeks to make sure I still felt that way."

While out in New York, Shoaf had decided to get the recruiting experience over and done with.

"I don't really know how it went down. I just kind of had the feeling while I was out there that I was ready to commit," Shoaf said. "I was ready to commit somewhere and I was ready to get done with the recruiting and focus on my senior year. I just felt that BYU was the place for me."

Shoaf said he had been trying to decide between BYU and Iowa.

"While I was out there I was away from everyone and it was time for me to reflect without any biased opinions, coaches or anything," he said. "It was time for me to reflect and gather my thoughts."

So, when he returned home to Indiana, Shoaf pulled the trigger.

"I spoke to my head coach this morning at practice and he was good with it. I then called Coach Weber and then Coach Mendenhall this morning to commit," Shoaf said. "I spoke to Coach Weber first this morning and he was really excited. He's definitely pushed the most for me. He said he was really excited and looking forward to working with me and seeing what we could do. He was very excited!"

Shoaf wasn't able to reach Coach Mendenhall after speaking with Coach Weber, but the big lineman said he would try again Monday night to talk to BYU's head coach. In any event, he said he is happy to have the recruiting experience over and done with.

"I'm relieved," said Shoaf. "It just takes a lot of time and effort to deal with it. It's not a bad thing but it's just a lot of effort. Like I said, there's a lot of phone calls, emails, mail, coaches visiting your school and stuff like that. I'm just done with it and I'm relieved."

Shoaf is an athletic left offensive tackle prospect.

"My biggest asset is my athleticism. I'm still 6'6" and almost 260 pounds and run a 4.76 forty," Shoaf said. "I run a four-second pro-agility and have a 30-inch vertical jump and my weight room numbers are very good. My bench is 305 right now and I have a 320 power clean. Power clean is a very good asset of mine and my squat is 450 pounds. I just have a lot of athleticism and strength on a frame that will allow college coaches to work with."

In closing, Shoaf wanted to let BYU fans know that he's excited to be a BYU Cougar.

"I just want to let BYU fans know that I'm ready to be a BYU Cougar," he said. "I really look forward to see what I can do out there at BYU and playing at the greatest university in the country."

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