Spanish Fort (Ala.) defensive lineman and LSU commit Justin Thomas made the trip this past weekend to LSU to take his official visit before enrolling in January in Baton Rouge. All his questions were answered and he's locked in.
"I feel very good about it. Talked to all the coaches. I talked to coach O, coach Craig and Pete Jenkins. I feel like I'm locked into LSU now because I like Coach O a lot. I got to stay with some of the players that were committed already and got to talk with everybody on staff," Thomas said. "I like his culture and I like his personality. He lets his coaches coach and he's just an easy going person and a cool person to be around."
The talk with LSU defensive line coach Pete Jenkins really opened Thomas' eyes as well for what the three-star defensive lineman can expect at LSU.
"He's old school. He doesn't really care what he says and he's going to coach me hard. He's the best defensive line coach in the country. He showed me a bunch of drills that they do and we couldn't get him to stop talking," the 6-5, 280-pound defensive lineman said.
When Orgeron got the job, it sealed Thomas to LSU as well.
"I wanted him to get the job. That's what I was banking on because if he didn't, I was probably going to leave and decommit," Thomas said.
After meeting with Orgeron and the other coaches, Thomas now had a set of expectations for himself to get to. Thomas expects to come in and work hard with hopes of earning playing time early. Thomas wants to be a freshman All-American.
"It was the same thing. He really didn't even speak on him becoming head coach. It was just like us talking," Thomas said of his conversation with coach Orgeron. "I'm ready. I go January 9th. Just gotta do what I do. I'm just trying to get in and player early."
Dave Aranda will be calling the plays for LSU on defense for the foreseeable future with his new three-year contract. LSU sees Thomas as a 4 or 5 technique in Aranda's attacking 3-4 scheme, much like his player host Lewis Neal, who made a big impression on Thomas, who also wants to major in business.
"We didn't talk about football much. We talked business. He's a very cool person. He has his own business and everything," Thomas said. "They say he's going to be the first NFL billionaire. He trades stocks so at LSU, he has his own penthouse already. I didn't get to stay there, but I was there with him.
"It's just amazing. All he does is save money and invest in stocks. He owns his own barber shop and everything in college."
Thomas is the No. 4 defensive end in Alabama, No. 19 defensive end in the South and No. 45 overall defensive end in the country.
SCOUT EVALUATION OF THOMAS
"A raw defensive line prospect with a hoops background, Thomas has the tools to be a big presence at the next level. He is a smart prospect who will play within his role, flashing great athleticism and pass-rushing ability at times. Thomas isn't a power player at the prep level but he routinely beats offensive lineman with leverage and quickness in short spaces." - John Garcia, Jr.