RECRUITING: Thomas Impresses With Work Ethic

It would be safe to call Bryan Thomas the hardest working man in high school football in the state of Florida. When he's not electrifying the faithful at Zephyrhills as a running back-wide receiver-linebacker-cornerback-safety-kick returner, he's holding down a job. The word lazy is just not in this four-star athlete's vocabulary.

(See Bryan Thomas profile).

He's probably as under-publicized as any four-star athlete could possibly be. Maybe the fans outside Zephyrhills and the surrounding area don't know him quite yet, but at some point they will and when his star bursts on the college football horizon, he will be able to look back at an unparalleled work ethic and point to that as the chief reason for his success.

For some, juggling school, football practices, games and a job would be far too much, but this 6-2, 192-pounder doesn't seem to miss a beat. His do-everything approach is one of the reasons the Zephyrhills Bulldogs have earned a place in the state playoffs this year.

Friday night against arch-rival Pasco, Thomas had one of his typical performances. As a running back he had 55 yards on 10 carries and two receptions for 32 yards. He lit up the Pirates with an 89-yard kick return to start the second half and he even threw a forty yard pass as the Bulldogs cruised to a 31-6 victory. Over on defense, he forced a fumble playing cornerback.

Pasco Coach Dale Caparaso told the St. Pete Times after the game, "Bryan's the real deal. He's the real deal."

A week before, Thomas led Zephyrhills to a win over Wesley Chapel. That win combined with the win over Pasco catapulted the Bulldogs into the playoffs with a 6-3 record. Against Wesley Chapel Thomas had 10 carries for 145 yards including a 75-yard touchdown run, seven tackles, one broken up pass, and one pass blocked. He also spent his time on defense as a linebacker in the game.

Even with his hectic schedule that allows very little spare time, Thomas has somehow made one official visit. He was in Knoxville on the weekend Tennessee hosted the Georgia Bulldogs. Even though the Vols lost, Thomas had a great trip.

"Knoxville is a beautiful place with good weather," he said. "They said a nice day there is like 60 degrees. I watched the Georgia game, and went by myself. The atmosphere itself was the best part. Tennessee is recruiting me both receiver and defensive back."

Due to his schedule, it's understandable that he hasn't been able to squeeze in any more visits. He was supposed to come to Gainesville when the Gators beat the Volunteers but couldn't make the trip. He still lists three top schools. He still lists a top three schools.

"I like Florida, Tennessee, and Ohio State still," he said. "They are all pretty even right now."

He traveled to Florida during the summer and attended camp in Gainesville. That visit opened the eyes of a former Miami fan, making him realize that the University of Florida has plenty to offer.

"I love the coaching staff a lot," he said. "I love the atmosphere and fans. I love that football team. Their football players aren't just players, they are pretty much brothers. Florida is recruiting me mainly on defense but a chance at both offense and defense"

Thomas just has not had the time to form an impression about Ohio State. The outspoken athlete will have to make up his mind quickly when he finally visits Columbus, Ohio.

"I only like what I see on television," he said. "I haven't been there so I can only go on what I see. Ohio State is recruiting me as a defensive back"

Bryan Thomas is not just an outstanding athlete, but a fine young man who has his head on straight. He's going to make someone happy on signing day but it's anyone's guess what position he'll play at the next level. He's one of these athletes who is simply a very good football player. Put him on the field at any position and he will find a way to excel.

Fightin Gators Top Stories