Out on the ponderosa Saturday for LSU's third practice of the spring, Garrett Thomas stood out among the rest watching from the sideline.
A 6-foot-6, 295-pound, sophomore, Thomas already looked like he could don some pads and join the Tigers in their OL drills. But with about two years until his recruitment oficially comes to an end, Thomas said he has a long way to go until he makes a decision.
But he did have the opportunity to learn a little more about what LSU has to offer as he made the trip to campus on Saturday. In the morning, he hit the practice field and watched the offensive linemen go through their offseason work.
"It was good," Thomas said. "It was ran really well. All the coaches had control. The players were all really excited because [Saturday] was their first practice tackling. I really enjoyed getting to watch it."
He got a first-hand experience watching OL coach Greg Studrawa and Les Miles — who spends most of practice with the OL — in their element.
"They do a really good job of it," Thomas said. "They sounded like they're really good teachers."
After practice, Thomas got to sit down with the coaches, including Miles, Studrawa and Tight Ends coach Steve Ensminger, his lead recruiter. Though he didn't leave Baton Rouge with an offer, one could be coming before the summer.
"I talked to Coach Stud the longest out of all them," Thomas said. "He told me they really like me, and they're going to watch me over the spring. He liked what he saw in me. He thought LSU was a good fit for me…
"He said probably in the spring, but he doesn't know for sure…I would be really excited. It would be unreal. I did [grow up rooting for LSU]. My whole town is just crazy LSU fans."
Thomas agreed with Studrawa that he would be a perfect fit for LSU's offense, because he's been raised as a power-blocking lineman.
"I definitely think my run-blocking is my strong point, because my team is not a passing team," Thomas said.
Aside from watching practice, Thomas got a full tour of the campus, including visits to the academic center and the dining hall. He also got shown around the football operations building, where he checked out the trophy cases.
But Thomas, who hopes to major in pre-med when he gets to school, came away most impressed by the non-football side of the program.
"They have really good academics," Thomas said. "They have a really good medical school, so that interests me."
Though LSU didn't extend an offer this weekend, Michigan did last week. That was Thomas' first, with many more likely on the way.
"I was ecstatic, because I never really expected an offer as a sophomore," Thomas said. "Now I have one and it was just totally unexpected. I'm really excited about it…I haven't talked to their coaches yet. They wrote me some letters and a camp schedule…
"I never really expected [all the attention]. I'm really enjoying it. I'm so blessed to be a part of all this."
Next up for Thomas is a trip to Auburn in two weeks. Other than that, he doesn't have any more plans until the summer, when he expects to hit a camp at LSU.
Though he has a long way to go in his recruitment, he already has an idea of what he'll be looking for in a program.
"The coaching staff is going to be really important and their facilities," Thomas said. "The school has to be really well-rounded both athletically and academically."
Does Thomas think LSU fits those criteria?
"I do," he said, "but I still have a while before I decide."
Thomas checks out LSU
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