Thomas staying busy during "off-season"

If you are a great athlete in Texas, you don't get much time off. Curtis Thomas would know how that goes firsthand. Football ended, then the spring track season started for Aldine High School, and now it's summer track as Thomas races for the Houston Cyclones. All in a day's or month's work, and then there's recruiting on top of that. Needless to say, Thomas is busy these days.

Football season finishes and then it's off to compete in track. Track season ends and then it's off for another season of track. It's the never ending life of an elite athlete in the state of Texas, but Curtis Thomas likes it fine. "It's fun, because you get to compete," he said. "I enjoy it and there's always another chance to get better."

That's what Thomas has been trying to do in recruiting as well. While there's only so much he can show of what he can do on the football field, when he's doing track and field instead. But speed kills and it's the one aspect of his game which he knows attracts attention. "The faster you are, the better it is," Thomas said. "If nobody can catch you or you can catch everyone, that just makes you more effective."

The recruiting has been centered around his defensive prowess, and his ability to play in the secondary. Thomas is one of the rare few, who is being recruited as both a cornerback and a safety.

Often when it comes to so-called "true" safeties, they are called that, because they just don't have the flexibility in their hips to play the corner position. That's something coaches recruiting him apparently don't feel about Thomas.

As it is, being recruited for both is nice, but Thomas knows where he'd ultimately like to play. "Safety suits me and what I do," Thomas said. "I can close on the ball well, but I am really good at coming up at getting a hit on my guy. At corner you end up covering one guy. My strength is being able to cover the whole field."

The offers Thomas has right now are the same he's had for a few months, coming from Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska and Baylor. From what he's gathered throughout May, though, and the increased amounts of mail, some other schools could soon be following suit. "I'm hearing from a lot of schools, but LSU seems to be picking it up and Tennessee and Florida are picking it up too," Thomas said.

Thomas' intent this summer when track isn't going on, is to actually get out and see some of these schools. Whether it's camps or combines or simply unofficial visits, Curtis said that he'd like to get out to see as many as he can see. "Nothing is definite as to where I am going, but I know I'd like to get out and see some of these schools," he said. "That way I can see the facilities these places have, talk to the coaches some more and just get a feel for the place."

When it comes to the Huskers, tight end coach Shawn Watson has been the one recruiting Thomas. Along with what Watson has told him about the big red, he's been impressed with how he's saying it. "He seems like a nice guy and someone that knows what he's talking about," Thomas said of Watson. "He talks straight with you and that's pretty important to me."

"When you talk to coaches, you just want to feel like the guy is telling you like it is and that he's just talking to you as someone and not just a player."

Thomas will no doubt have to go through that at various points of the year as he plans on taking this recruiting process as far as it needs to go. Not planning on committing anytime soon, and with no clear favorites in sight, Curtis is as wide open as they get. "Everything is open right now and location, weather – none of that really means that much to me," he said.

"I'm just looking for a place that has the opportunity for me, is a good place to be and where I know I will be comfortable. I'll check some of these schools out. I know that. I just don't know when or where."

A s a junior, Thomas totaled 86 tackles, 46 of them solo, 20 tackles for loss, four interceptions and forced three fumbles.


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