Checking In with Ian Thomas

TSR catches up with Franklin running back Ian Thomas and discusses recruiting.

The last time TSR checked in with Franklin High (Reisterstown, MD) standout Ian Thomas, the Terps football program was undergoing a complete overhaul. After nearly a decade at Maryland, ex-Coach Ralph Friedgen was shown the door. This surprising exit, combined with the departures of both the offensive and defensive coordinator, started to arouse some fear amongst the fan base as to what effects such a severe change would have on the team's ability to recruit top-tier players.

As the dust settled, and the new staff formed in College Park, the program was able to maintain contact with a few of Maryland's top targets including the 6-foot-1, 192 pound star wide receiver.

Now, just a few months later, Thomas has named the Terps as one of the members of a rough Top 5 that he hopes to finalize within the next month. “I still want to visit a few schools like Penn State and Virginia, but by August I definitely want to have a strict Top 5,” he said. When asked to name some of his top schools out of the 20-plus offers he holds, Thomas listed Rutgers, Notre Dame and Vanderbilt along with Maryland.

Although Edsall and Co. continued the previous staff's recruitment of Thomas, there was one drastic change. “When Coach Friedgen and his staff were recruiting me, they were looking at bringing me in as a DB but now Coach Edsall is recruiting me as a receiver,” said Thomas.

Thomas, who shined on the field the past season as both a defensive back and a receiver, has been spending his summer training 4 days a week and then going to receiver workouts for another 2 days a week. With such a crammed schedule he doesn't see himself going to any camps, but instead is focusing on the season that lies ahead. “It's my last year on the field for my high school and there's only one thing I'm focused on which is winning the 3A state title. It's something my school has never done before and it would be really special my senior year.”

Thomas was impressed with his visit to College Park, in which he was able to tour the campus and the football facilities and even got the chance to speak with Coach Randy Edsall. “Coach Edsall and I talked for a little while about the situation at Maryland and he told me that two receivers have already committed in my class and that there's one spot left so the offer is on the table it's just my decision to make,” said Thomas. Although he hasn't been in much contact with Edsall after his visit to College Park, Thomas has maintained a very close relationship with new linebackers Coach Keith Dudzinski. “Coach Dudz and I have a very good relationship. I talk to him about three times a week, just about every week,” said Thomas. “We talk about recruiting, football and sometimes just talk about life. He's a good guy.”

Thomas says that he hopes to make a college decision by January at the latest, but claims that if it feels right before then he's not afraid to commit early. The Terps were able to maintain contact and interest with this hometown playmaker throughout a transition period. Now only time will tell if they will be rewarded for their efforts.

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