It's not often that NC State ventures into Ohio for football prospects. However, that's exactly where the Pack has headed to target two of that state's top players.
Defensive end Solomon Thomas and linebacker Alex Kaufman are two standout defenders for Lakota West High School in West Chester, Ohio and played a large role in leading the Firebirds to an 7-3 record in 2005.
Thomas has received much of the early, preseason attention with scholarship offers coming from NC State, Boston College, Illinois, Arizona State and Akron among others. The talented defensive end finished off last season with 58 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, seven sacks, nine pass breakups and one forced fumble.
Kaufman is just now beginning to attract the attention of college scouts and has heard from the likes of Tennessee, Cincinnati, Miami (Ohio) and Northwestern in addition to NC State. The rising senior finished off 2005 with 37 tackles, nine tackles for loss, five sacks, one interception returned for a touchdown, three pass breakups and two forced fumbles.
Pack Pride caught up with Lakota West head coach Larry Cox recently for a quick breakdown of each of his talented players.
"Both Solomon and Alex have been offered by NC State," said Cox. "Solomon is a 6-4, 225 pound defensive end and Alex is a 6-2, 220 pound linebacker. Both players have been selected by their team as captains for next season. They are both good young men that are a great representative of our school and community. Both are being highly recruited. They are hard working players and understand what it takes to get to the next level and realize that playing defense at N.C. State means you're pretty good and that you'll have the opportunity to play at the next level as well."
Pack Pride will have much more on Thomas and Kaufman in the future.