Joe Thomas - OL - 6-8, 270, 4.78/40 - Brookfield, WI (Central) - Fundamentally, Joe Thomas has it all. Physically, he's a monster already, but has the frame to become even that much more foreboding to defensives. And mentally, he's intelligent both on and off the field. With this kind of versatility and athleticism, Joe might just have his pick of where he goes. This weekend, Nebraska got to be his first official visit and take their stab at impressing this young man enough to leave an indelible impression that will carry weight all the way until signing day. "It was very impressive." Joe said of his visit to Lincoln. "I got a good feeling from the place and I liked the atmosphere."
Many are the things that have been said of a Nebraska atmosphere, but more points to just what it is like to be inside Memorial when any other team comes to Lincoln. "At Wisconsin, a lot of people wear red and it's pretty impressive, but at Nebraska, everyone wears red." Thomas stated. "Every single person is wearing red. It's pretty amazing."
Also with NU, you can literally answer some questions for the recruit before they utter a word themselves. The facilities and the loyalty by the fans, all are staples of Nebraska that were not lost on Thomas. "It's amazing how the town literally centers itself around the football team." Joe said. "And the weight room was awesome. It was right in the stadium to, so that was nice."
For any school that is the first visit for a recruit, there is a danger. The danger is in that player losing their memory or "feeling" of what the experience was like. The atmosphere, the coaches, the players or the community, all can be lost because they will experience similar situations at the schools they visit next.
With Thomas, there are some major schools that are vying for those valuable officials. Teams like Stanford, Iowa, Colorado, Notre Dame, Purdue, USC, Wisconsin and now, Tennessee, all want to be one of those visits, so that they can leave their own impression on Thomas.
Was Joe's first visit to NU enough to put them anywhere towards the top of his list of possible schools? "They have definitely moved up." Joe stated. "I'm not going to say that Nebraska is my favorite, but they are definitely up there right now."
Joe's got four more visits to go and as of yet, has not scheduled where those will be taken. Thomas also hasn't decided as to when, but did say that the rest would be after the season. Outside of Tennessee, Joe has offers from all the schools he is looking at, but the Vols only recently submitted for film on Thomas, so you might expect one soon to come.
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You can reach Steve Ryan at email@example.com or 402-730-5619