Shannon Visits Herring

When opponents line up across from Thomas Herring, they're generally in for a total mismatch. That's because the L.A. (Calif.) Fremont standout stands 6-foot-5, weighs 295 pounds, moves like a tight end, and has the athletic ability of a defensive end.

Herring, a full academic qualifier, plays in the state championship game this weekend in his final prep football game. He'll then start into basketball before playing in the CaliFlorida Bowl on Jan. 3.

In the meantime, Herring is getting plenty of attention on the recruiting front.

"It's getting crazy now because the coaches have started coming by the crib," he said. "Sunday was the first day. USC was here at about nine. UCLA was here. Miami was here last night."

Herring said UM defensive coordinator Randy Shannon showed up to meet with Herring and his mother.

"He's been the one recruiting me," he said. "He basically said how I'm one of the top defensive linemen they're recruiting this year. He likes guys that can rush the passer and stop the run and they kinda got away from that this year with being a little too one dimensional. He thinks I would fit into his defense really well and I agree with him."

Herring, who doubles as an offensive tackle, said two programs are way out in front right now -- USC and Miami.

"I like UCLA and Oklahoma and they're both recruiting me pretty good but I really like SC and Miami the most," he said. "They're my favorites and have been the whole time."

The talented lineman talked about what he likes about each of his favorites.

USC -- "Every kid would love to stay home and play for one of the top programs in the country," he said. "That's the opportunity I have at SC. I live right up the road but I'm still gonna visit there on January 23rd because they still wanna bring me in."

Miami -- "Man, that's my dream school," he said. "The whole time I was growing up I thought about how great it would be to play for the Hurricanes. I never knew I'd have the chance to someday. Then their coach was sitting in my house with me and my mother last night."

One of the biggest factors in Herring's decision-making process will be the status of his mother, who is battling an illness.

"It's hard to say how that's gonna play into the whole thing," he said. "My mom knows how much I've wanted to play for Miami. She tells me 'if you wanna go to Miami then go' but I know she probably really doesn't think that. By me going to SC, I could still be close to her. That's something we're gonna have to sit down and really discuss after my trips. I go to Miami on January 16th."

Herring said he's hoping to play early at the college level as well and knows he'll have his work cut out for him.

"Anyone that goes to SC or Miami knows they're gonna have to compete," he said. "SC wants me to come in and help replace Kenechi Udeze. Coach Shannon said he loves my athletic ability and my speed off the ball."

On a side note, Herring has never been further south in Florida than Orlando.

"We played there for an AAU basketball tournament once," he said. "I've never been to Miami so I'm really excited about going down there and meeting the coaches and chillin with the players and everything."

When asked if he had any idea which school might have the upper hand right now, Herring didn't hesitate. "It's such a hard decision, I couldn't even say."

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