Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Va.) is one of the foremost football programs in Virginia, and Feb. 18 a number of the school’s up-and-coming recruits trekked north to College Park, Md., for a visit. One of those was junior defensive lineman Kyle Thomas, a 6-foot-3, 260-pounder who figures to gain serious steam on the recruiting trail in short order.
Thomas didn’t pull a coveted Maryland offer post-Terps’ trip, but he’s now firmly on the staff’s radar.
“I loved it up there at Maryland; I really like what it’s about,” said Thomas, who has one offer from Buffalo. “It’s a school I definitely have in mind. I really hope I get that offer, and if I do, it’s a school that would definitely be up there for me. They treat you like family there, and I love how the coaches treat the players so well. Like, the freshmen get treated just as well as the upperclassmen.”
Thomas spoke extensively to defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh and area recruiter Chris Beatty during the visit. The Oscar Smith product wasn’t told exactly what he had to do to earn a Maryland scholarship, but he’s confident the verbal will come In time.
“The Maryland staff is very interested in me,” Thomas said. “Coach Brumbaugh was saying he likes my pass rush and how quick I am off the ball. I think he and Coach Beatty will eventually offer.”
Thomas said he enjoyed interacting with the Terps’ new defensive line coach, mentioning Brumbaugh’s welcoming personality and “he knows his stuff.” But the 757 native has known Beatty for much longer and already had an established rapport.
“I’ve been talking to Coach Beatty for awhile now, and he’s a great person,” Thomas said. “It’s a good relationship between us. Coach Beatty loves 757 kids, he wants to help us out and he’s very personable and easy to talk to.”
Thomas went on to compliment the Maryland program and the school itself. He’d never been to College Park before, so the campus and area were new to him.
“It’s a great campus at Maryland and the atmosphere is wonderful,” Thomas said. “The fact Maryland is right down the street from D.C. is great. I really liked seeing the new dorms they have there, the weight room and the facilities they’ve building. It’s all very nice. I plan to go back for a camp and a game during the season.”
Before heading to UMD, Thomas had been to Old Dominion and Va Tech. He has trips to Charlotte and Penn State coming up in March, followed by Louisville April 15. Thomas will trek to his lone suitor, Buffalo, during the summer.
Additionally, Thomas will check out any other programs that offer during the rest of the winter and into the spring.
“I’d love to get offers from Pitt, Georgia and Clemson,” Thomas said. “Pitt has one of my favorite players, and I love the D-linemen that have played at Clemson and Georgia. Those are three big schools I’d like to have the option of playing for.”
Thomas recorded 65 tackles, 10 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, 1 interceptions, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles this season.