LSU tight ends coach Steve Ensminger played host to John Thomas last weekend, bringing the Airline High tight end in for an unofficial visit as the Tigers went through their second scrimmage of the spring.
After Saturday’s visit, Thomas raved about everything from the practice facilities to the feel that he got when watching the Tigers scrimmage in an empty Death Valley.
“That visit did a lot for me,” he said. “I saw what the coaches were saying about how I fit into the program and how would feel around the players. It felt like a home. I felt relaxed.”
Four days later, he dialed up tight ends coach Steve Ensminger, who patched him through to recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson.
“Coach Frank took my commitment and said that I made his day, and coach Ensminger said the same thing,” said Thomas, who plans to speak to head coach Les Miles on Thursday. “I left a message with coach Miles. They said I’m someone that everyone really wanted to get committed, so he’ll be excited to hear the news.”
The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Thomas joins John Curtis Christian’s Dillon Gordon as the second tight end commitment to the 2012 class. Gordon, tabbed by Scout.com as one of the South Region’s Top 5 tight end prospects, is a 6-foot-5, 250-pounder who projects as an every down player at the next level.
With Thomas, the Tigers hope they will get much of the same.
“The coaches have compared me to (LSU tight end) DeAngelo Peterson,” Thomas said. “They feel like I can create after the catch. I work on being that all-around player, but I really like to get out and catch the ball. I have the athleticism for it.”
Thomas said that the work of Ensminger, his future position coach, helped push him towards the early decision, one that his parents had no problems with.
“Coach Ensminger is a guy who has been all around the place coaching, but he’s back home now with family and is going to stay because of how happy he is,” Thomas said.
“Once I told my mom what my decision was, she told me to go for it as long as it made me happy. But I know it made her happy, because she wanted me at LSU the whole time. They just want me to stay close, and now they will get to see me play.”
With Airline High on break, Thomas plans to enjoy his new title as a Tiger.
“With no school, I’ll be hanging out just taking it all in,” he said. “My family is all going to go out and eat to celebrate this commitment. It’s an exciting day for us, for sure. Everyone is happy with my decision.”
While he expects college coaches to come through Airline High this spring, he maintained that his recruitment would not go beyond the month of March.
“It’s over for me,” Thomas said. “I am happy with being an LSU Tiger now. It’s a great feeling. I wish I could get down there for the Spring Game but I have the ACT. But I will be back down there this summer to hang out around everyone and start getting that feel for my future.”