2014 Player Analysis: Chad Thomas

Chad Thomas was one of the nation's most heavily recruited defensive line prospects this past year and he's being counted upon to make an early impact for the Hurricanes this season.

As a recruit: Chad Thomas helped lead Booker T Washington High to a state championship as a senior last season. He finished the season with 71 tackles and eight sacks. Coached by current UM staff member Tim Harris, Thomas was recruited nationally last year. He had offers from just about everyone. He first committed to Miami in July and ended up taking official visits to UM, Florida State, and Alabama before deciding to stick with his original UM commitment on National Signing Day.

What to expect: Thomas is probably the most talented defensive end on Miami's roster right now and it's not like the Canes are loaded with proven difference makers at the position. Because of those things, he'll be given every chance to make a big impact. It's rare, however, for true freshmen to start along the defensive line. Thomas can be that guy, and there's probably a good chance that he will be in the starting lineup by mid-season. He's a potential difference maker. While he doesn't have the natural pass rushing tools as guys like Quan Muhammad and Tyriq McCord or the game experience as someone like Anthony Chickillo, he's the total package physically and it's likely only a matter of time before he starts to separate himself from a lot of current players at the position.

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