The breakdown: Lamaar Thomas

The recruitment of prized Friendly High running back Lamaar Thomas has been a concern recently for Terp fans. Thomas has seemed to be the Terps top priority for some time, so it was a bit surprising to see him prominently listing other schools, rather than Maryland. Thomas took a visit to College Park yesterday, and as always, TSR has the latest inside scoop on his recruitment.


Thomas spent much of his afternoon meeting with head coach Ralph Friedgen, who had spliced together a tape of Charlie Rogers – the former Georgia Tech star running back during Friedgen's tenure as offensive coordinator – to show Thomas how he would use him; Thomas had developed some concerns about Friedgen using a power-oriented game that might not suit his blazing speed and thin frame.

Rogers "was about my size, maybe a little shorter, and he used him in motion a lot, motioned him into the slot, motioned him into the backfield and got him in one-on-one matchups with linebackers who couldn't stay with him," Thomas said.

"It was pretty impressive. I liked seeing how he would use me … [And] he said he had been looking for the tape the night before and all morning, so it showed me a lot that he spent so much time looking for the tape to show me."

Also sitting in on the 90-minute film session was none other than Terps great Boomer Esiason. Thomas didn't know much about Esiason's career, but his father was excited to find out he'd been in on the meeting; Sean Thomas is a diehard Redskin fan and recalled wishing the Skins would sign Esiason as a free agent.

"He was pretty excited about it," Lamaar laughed.

Thomas then spent lunch with the Terps running back corps – Lance Ball, Keon Lattimore, Morgan Green and Da'Rel Scott. Also present was Thomas's friend Adrian Moten, a Maryland linebacker with whom he was friendly during Moten's career at Gwynn Park, which is Friendly's archrival.

"I got to know them real well. They told me about everything," Thomas said. "They're some funny dudes."

Thomas also was able to better acquaint himself with the Terps coaching staff, including running backs coach Phil Zaccarias, who would be the coach with whom he'd be spending the most time with. The conversations went very well, he said.

Maryland's foremost advantage, meanwhile, is it's proximity to home.

"I don't think my mother has ever missed a game, and I think my father missed one pre-season game, so staying at home would be a positive," he said. "But I also know that they'll support me no matter where I am."

Thomas and his father will jump on a flight to Columbus, OH., at 7:50 a.m. Friday for a one-day visit to Ohio State, which has been recruiting him heavily. They'll return the same night, before dragging themselves out of bed early Saturday morning to make the drive down to Charlottesville for a seven-on-seven tournament.

After that, he has no visits planned. He'll begin summer school June 28 in order to clear up a grade from his freshman year – he'll have no trouble qualifying for college next year – and plans to make visits to Tennessee and Florida at some point later in the summer.

Right now, it seems as though Maryland, Illinois, Tennessee and Ohio State could be considered the favorites in his recruitment, though he has not been to several of his schools and is not naming leaders. Boston College, UNC and UVA have tried to get involved, and the Tar Heels will get a glance and perhaps a visit but would have to make up lots of ground.

He'd like to make a commitment in late Sept., partially to help some of his teammates continue to get looks from recruiters. Two of his teammates committed this week to ACC teams – Josh Haden (Boston College) and Devin Wallace (Virginia) – and they have talked about the possibility of butting heads in the ACC. Another rising senior at Friendly – lineman Quinton Sales – has Wake Forest atop his list.

Again, though, Thomas is playing it cool on how he's leaning.

"I wouldn't be able to put them in any order right now," he said, "because what happened yesterday just [changed] everything up."

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