Thomas firm to LSU after visit

Dwayne Thomas is still being recruited by USC and others, but remains firm to LSU.

Although committed to LSU, cornerback Dwayne Thomas from O. Perry Walker is being actively recruited by a handful of other programs.

In the past couple of weeks, USC coach Lane Kiffin and recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron made trips to New Orleans to visit with Thomas at both his high school and home.

"USC is really recruiting me, and so are some SEC schools," Thomas said. "Everyone was scared of LSU after I committed, and teams like Notre Dame and Oregon kind of backed off.

"But the closer to signing day we get, the more I see coaches come down and make their run."

After taking in his official visit to Baton Rouge this past weekend, Thomas said his pledge to sign with the Tigers in February remains firm.

"I am just trying to wrap this up with my commitment and the process," Thomas said. "I am ready for it to be all over so I can start working towards getting that spot on the field next year."

Thomas was able to meet individually with each assistant on the staff during his visit, including an extended conversation and film study with his future position coach, Ron Cooper.

"I met with Coach Cooper and had some really good talks," Thomas said. "A different coach came and sat with us every day when we ate, but I enjoyed talking to Coach Cooper because I get a sense for where I really fit in with the team.

"I see all the other defensive backs playing right away, and that was the big question for me. I want to compete and show I can contribute early on. We were in the position meeting and I was catching onto a lot of plays, and Cooper liked that. Cooper said that he visualized me competing with(junior cornerback) Tharold Simon for a spot next year. To think that I could be out there with (Tyrann Mathieu) on the same field is cool. We would have a lot of New Orleans guys out there representing the state."

Thomas was hosted over the weekend by freshman defensive tackle Anthony Johnson, a fellow New Orleans native and O. Perry Walker graduate.

"I was running around with the guy everyone calls ‘TheFreak'," Thomas said. "We did a lot of eating all weekend. Every time we ate, the player hosts came and took all the guys with them.

"They showed us around their rooms and we all went to see some things off campus with them. We cut loose and did some partying. We had fun outside of the building with the players."

Friday night began with a trip to Texas de Brazil, and on Saturday he recruits went out with their player hosts and the parents to the home of Les and Kathy Miles for desserts and more conversation.

"The parents all went out there to hang around with Coach Miles and his wife, and the women were all hanging with the women and men with the men," Thomas said. "I felt like everyone had a blast, from the players to the coaches to our families.

"I made the trip over with my mom and dad and stepdad, and everyone got to mingle and get to know one another better. They told me it was really fun and they feel confident I made a great decision."

The highlight of the weekend, Thomas said, was when fans at Texas de Brazil approached Thomas and identified him as a future Tiger.

"They acted like I was a celebrity," he said. "Half the people knew who I was and wanted pictures and autographs. It was crazy."

After being invited by the staff – alongside close friends and commitments Ronnie Feist, Lamar Louis and Deion Jones – to help host Landon Collins, Thomas felt the weekend was a success in LSU's bid to land the top prospect in Louisiana.

"I think it was good because we all knew each other and we are close," Thomas said. "Landon had fun. I think Landon's coming to LSU. His girlfriend might be coming to LSU now, and he's got all of his family here.

"I think all the kids who grew up together in New Orleans will stay home. I mean, right now Landon and his family have a house in Geismar, and I think that will play a big impact. It's down the block from LSU. His parents can come see him all the time."

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