Isaac Thomas Flies "Way Under the Radar" for BYU

A "tremendous, tremendous athlete that's way under the radar" from Summit High School (Tex.) returned home from his BYU recruiting visit last weekend more than impressed and thinking he could excel in the Cougars' defensive scheme.

Isaac Thomas, a 5-11, 270-pound First Team All- Conference selection (5A, District 4) in Dallas-Fort Worth region, has narrowed his top choices to North Texas and BYU.

Tim Beck, his head coach at Summit, said Thomas had received more than 20 offers from smaller colleges. His single season stats were 52 tackles, 10 for losses; two sacks, three caused fumbles; and one fumble recovery.

"Thomas only played here one year. Our defense gave up a 2.81 yards-per-run average and only 178 total yards per game. He was a big part of that. He came from Louisiana last July and he was the Louisiana state wrestling champ as a junior. He's very fast and very strong. He's an extremely hard worker and plays extremely hard all the time. I can tell you he's one of the most unheralded and underrated players I've seen and that's because of his height. If BYU or North Texas gets him, they're getting a great player," Coach Beck said.

Thomas, meanwhile, had this to say about his BYU trip yesterday. "I loved it. I really liked the campus and the facilities were incredible. I really like the coaching staff. They're definitely people who I feel comfortable with and people I'd like to play for."

BYU's co-offensive coordinator, Todd Bradford, came to recruit Summit's star wide receiver Jarvis Minton (who committed to Wisconsin without ever visiting BYU) "and I showed him some film on Isaac. He took it back to review and they started recruiting him after that. Coaches that never came by or haven't seen him don't know how good he is," Coach Beck continued, adding, "(BYU assistant) Bradford has done a great job recruiting him. Isaac was really impressed with his visit. He thought BYU was like one of those schools up in the mountains. He didn't know what to expect. It (visit) was far better than he expected."

For his part, Thomas said that "BYU is sort of far away while the other schools I'm considering are kind of close to home. I didn't think a school as far away as BYU would recruit me, but they are – and I'm really glad that they are."

The Summit High standout said the style of defense run by defensive coordinator Bronco Mendenhall is one of the main factors why might want to play football in Provo. "Their scheme is great. I could see myself playing tackle there, for sure. It's sort of like what I'm used to with all the blitzing and stuff. It would be great to play in his system."

His other solid scholarship offers are from Louisiana-Monroe and North Texas, along with a whole slew of Div. II two schools.

Thomas will visit North Texas the last weekend of January. "I like North Texas because they're close to home, obviously. They also have a good program. I'll just have to see how they compare with BYU and go from there."

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