Thomas, who scored 15 touchdowns as a sophomore despite sharing the ball with a talent-laden group of skill players, was impressed by the UM coaches when he camped in College Park last month.
“The coaches just seemed so real. They were real up front and it didn’t seem like they were telling lies,” he said.
Thomas, who will take the ACT in September, ran a 4.45 40-yard dash at Maryland’s camp. He says he is improving academically, and will take the ACT in September. It appears the Fort Washington school may be shedding its reputation as a hotbed for talented players who don’t qualify academically; Friendly assistant Marcus Berry runs a program that requires SAT studying sessions every day during the season, and twice a week during the rest of the school year.
Last season, Thomas (5-11 and 170 pounds) returned three kicks for touchdowns, scored seven times on the ground and caught five touchdown passes en route to honorable mention all-state recognition.
“Lamaar is ridiculous. I can’t put words to that dude,” Berry said. “You could put him anywhere on the field. He can probably play any skill position except quarterback. He’s a big-time defensive back/running back. He just has the athleticism.”
Maryland has offered him as a running back, which speaks to how impressed the staff is with him. Those running back slots are relatively precious; it’s a statement to offer one to a rising junior.
Thomas is not ready to commit quite yet. Considering he hasn’t begun his junior year, it’s understandable he’d still like to see what kind of interest he receives. But it’s clear the Terps will be the team to beat. The chance to play his college career about a half-hour from home will be tough to pass up, he said.
“That’s what I really like,” Thomas said. “It’s not far from home, so I could have a lot of fans come and see me play, and my family could come to every game.”