Major DL Prospect Likes UM

In what appears to be a down year for defensive linemen in the state of Florida, California has at least one kid that is getting recruited by every major college program in America. Los Angeles (Calif) Fremont standout two-way lineman Thomas Herring will be among the most heavily recruited linemen in the entire country this recruiting season.

At 6-foot-5 and 290 pounds (as measured at the NIKE Camp at USC last month), Herring dominates the competition on both sides of the ball.

"I like playing defense better," Herring said. "There's more action on that side of the ball and playing defensive end gives me a chance to rush the passer and stuff like that."

His coach believes Herring has the natural tools to someday play on Sundays.

"I definitely think his best college position is as a left tackle on the offensive line," head coach Pete Duffy said. "He's so big and athletic and with those long arms, it's tough to imagine him not making it all the way to the league with how talented he is."

Herring, who helped his team to a 9-3 season a year ago, has been busy getting ready for the upcoming season.

"I went to the NIKE Camp to learn some new things," he said. "Now basically we're doing spring stuff -- running and lifting just about every day. I'm trying to stay in shape so I can have a big year."

Herring's best days are way ahead of him. "I'm still learning new things all the time," he said. "I just started lifting weights a couple months ago so I know that I'm going to be a lot stronger someday than I am now."

Herring, who has not yet taken the test, received several recruiting calls during the month of May.

"Miami called," he said first, "Oklahoma, Michigan, Notre Dame, Florida State, UCLA, USC, the whole Pac 10 except for Stanford and Washington State. A lot of people called to talk to me last month."

So what did the Hurricanes and Herring have to talk about during that conversation.

"They gave me good news," he said. "They offered me a scholarship. Basically we talked about different things and about me coming out there for a visit later this year. They have a camp coming up at the end of June and that's the one I probably want to go to the most but I'm not sure if it'll work out or not because of time (note: Fremont still has three more weeks of school left)."

Herring said the Hurricanes are at the top of his current list of favorites.

"That's Miami I mean," he said. "What can't you like about them. I was so happy when they offered. Their program speaks for itself and I'd love to be a part of it someday."

The standout defender is also considering four or five other schools at this point.

"Along with Miami, I'd say Oklahoma, Florida State, Michigan, and Notre Dame are my top ones," he said. "I'm willing to leave the state and do what's best for me. I have a good relationship with the D-Line coach at SC. He coached Warren Sapp at Miami and he wants me to come to their camp. I don't know about that right now, though."

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