Louisville in top two for Ohio stud DE?

Last year, Louisville landed a four-star prospect (Josh Chichester) out of Lakota West High School. This year, the Cardinals are trying to pull another stud out of the Westchester, Ohio, school. Which three-star defensive end are the Cardinals in hot pursuit?

Last year, Louisville landed a four-star prospect (Josh Chichester) out of Lakota West High School. This year, the Cardinals are trying to pull another stud out of the Westchester, Ohio school.

Louisville, along with Ohio State, appear to be the leading contenders for Solomon Thomas, a 6-4, 230-pound three-star defensive end. Thomas is rated the #38 defensive end prospect nationally.

Thomas holds offers from both Ohio State and Louisville and is in the process of setting official visits with both schools. So where is he leaning?

"I think it probably depends on what time of day you ask Solomon," Lakota West coach Larry Cox said.

Thomas made an unofficial visit for Ohio State's season finale against Michigan and came away impressed with the Buckeyes.

"He's been extended an official visit to Ohio State Dec. 8-9," Cox said. "Ohio State called last night and that's a big pull for any kid from the state of Ohio. He made an unofficial visit to OSU for the Michigan game and he loved it.

Thomas will also make an official visit to Louisville sometime next month.

"Louisville has also invited him down for an official visit," Cox said. "They've talked about the same weekend as Ohio State, but we've still got to figure things out and get a date worked out."

Recently, Thomas received a solid ACT score that has a few other big time programs like Tennessee and Boston College stepping up their interest.

"He got a 20 on his most recent ACT and now all of a sudden a lot of schools are trying to jump in," Cox said. "Tennessee wants to come in and talk. They've communicated with Solomon a little, but not with me. So I'm not sure where they stand. Boston College has also shown recent interest."


Louisville and Ohio State appear
the leading contenders for
Solomon Thomas.

Cox said his star has high interest in the sixth-ranked Cardinals. "I know he's very comfortable with Louisville and he likes them a lot," Cox said. "He visited Louisville for their spring game and has a good relationship with their coaches and players."

Thomas' former teammate, Chichester, will attend Louisville in January. Originally, Chichester had verbally committed to Ohio State but the Buckeyes pulled his offer late in the recruiting process and the 6-8, 210-pound wide receiver opted for Louisville right before the signing day. "I think that taught us how to handle things better," Cox said. "Solomon has done all the things he's had to do. I'm proud of where he's come from. He's obviously a tremendous athlete."

Might Chichester be helping Louisville recruit his former teammate? "Solomon learned from Josh, but I wouldn't say Josh is pushing him or trying to sway him to go to one school or another," Cox said.

And while Thomas will make an official visit to Louisville next month, the Cards could have the athletic defensive end on campus when they wrap up the 2006 campaign Saturday at home vs. UCONN.

"Coach Cassity and the Louisville coaches have been wonderful to deal with the past year or so," Cox said. "He's talked about Solomon coming down this weekend for an unofficial visit. I think I'm going down myself. I'm supposed to talk with Coach Cassity later today to finalize things."

Thomas will play in the MSL All-Star game in Orlando next month.


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