L.T. Thomas Recruiting Update

New Smyrna Beach (FL) HS wide receiver L.T. Thomas' guardian Andy Cox provided the latest on LT's recruitment.

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Andy Cox, known as Coxie to his friends, gave your typical answers to my standard recruiting questions.

What schools has LT left to visit?

"He is going to West Virginia Friday, then he is going to Mississippi State the next Friday," said Andy. "He's picked his visits according to places where he knows that I know somebody. (MSU offensive coordinator) Woody McCorvey is as good of a person as you will ever meet. I know because I worked for him for three years. (Louisville assistant coach) Jeff Brohm is a great guy. I have an uncle right there at West Virginia." LT officially visited Louisville in December.

What schools are left on LT's list of favorite schools?

"It will be Louisville, Mississippi State and West Virginia," he said.

He also talked about things that LT is concerned about in regard to each school. Be prepared, because Andy is a guy that tells it like it is.

"He wonders about Louisville because (sophomore QB Brian) Brohm got hurt. He's wondering what will become of their offense after he is gone. He's also got questions about whether (Head) Coach (Bobby) Petrino will be there."

West Virginia
"West Virginia is kind of an unknown commodity. He was very impressed that they beat Georgia in the bowl game. That was a phenomenal game. He has questions about how much they will throw. Not that he wants them to throw every down, but they don't throw it a lot right now. He thinks that they have great talent at quarterback and a very good offense. This is amazing, but (West Virginia head coach) Rich (Rodriguez) told him that he will play 60 plays of offense and 20 plays of defense if he comes to West Virginia. When they need him to, he will play safety. That's what they are telling him."

Mississippi State
"His thoughts on Mississippi State is it is a chance to play in the Southeastern Conference, which is a damn good conference. I did a year as a graduate assistant at Arkansas and I went through the Southeastern Conference with Danny Ford. You better be ready to play every week because you are going to get knocked around. I think his question, like anybody's question would be, is what about Starkville? What kind of place is it? He gets teased about it. It's just like West Virginia. (The joke is) you don't want to go to West Virginia because they pipe the sunshine in for 7 months out of the year because it is so bad weatherwise. Do you want to go to Starkville because it is Mississippi and you still hear the stories. But you and I understand Starkville. If he doesn't like Gainesville because it is too big, he could very well fall in love with Starkville. He very well could because New Smyrna is not very big."

What will LT's final decision be based on?

"Community, offense and the opportunity to get a good education," said Andy.

Those are the your standard recruiting questions and answers. But Andy has a strong opinion about something else, or, I should say, someone else: MSU head coach Sylvester Croom. Why? Because he cares deeply for LT and wants what he feels is best for LT.

"The best thing for him to become a full person - football, school, using his God-given abilities and being a quality human being - is Sylvester Croom," said Andy. "And that is coming from a man whose father was a coach his entire life and a damn good one. The best person for him in all phases of his life from where he has come from to where he is trying to get to is Sylvester Croom. He needs old school. He needs yes sir, no sir and a 'this is how we are going to do it' attitude. There is more to it than the school. It is about what is best for the kid. The best guy for LT right now, due to what he has grown up around and what he has been through, is Sylvester Croom. Everybody wants to be their buddy, but (LT) doesn't need a buddy. He needs the daddy that he doesn't have. I'm not saying the other places aren't great places, it's just where this kid is right now and where he is trying to get to next."

It's clear, from what Andy said, what LT will get from playing for Coach Croom. But what will Coach Croom receive in return? One of the top DBs in the state of Florida has an answer to that question.

According to Andy, "I had the best defensive back in the south end of the state of Florida, who went with (LT) to the Nike and Florida Camps with him, tell his coach to tell me that 'he is the best receiver in the state of Florida.' He said, 'I don't care what all the others say because I covered them all. He is so strong and fast when you try to do something against him he can either muscle you or he can run by you.' The kid's name is Brandon Heath out of (Palm Beach Lakes HS) West Palm Beach."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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