Pack Leads Big for Four-Star Defensive End

Defensive end Solomon Thomas of West Chester (Oh.) Lakota West appears set to be a major recruit from the state of Ohio this year. He already has numerous scholarship offers, with more to come. Thomas spoke with Pack Pride to provide the latest on his recruitment.

Solomon Thomas hasn't been too busy this summer because he hasn't had a chance to attend any camps or combines.

"I'm not going to any camps," said Thomas. "I would like to go to some camps down south, especially North Carolina State, but with money issues and stuff like that I'm not going to be able to make it.

"Actually today coach Cox is asking me if I want to go up to the Ohio State camp. I'm going to let him know about that soon, but if I do go that camp will probably be the only one that I go to."

Rated the No. 26 defensive end in the country and a four-star prospect by Scout.com, Thomas is an instinctive pass rusher who is tall, rangy and athletic. As a junior, he tallied 58 tackles (second on team) with 30 solos, 13 tackles-for-loss, seven sacks, nine pass break-ups and one forced fumble. He teamed with Alex Kaufman to lead Lakota West to a 7-3 record.

With nearly 15 scholarship offers on the table, Thomas is receiving major attention. Illinois, Boston College, North Carolina State, Miami of Ohio, and Arizona State are some of the teams heavily pursuing the 6-foot-5, 225-pound standout.

One team that could enter the mix at anytime is Ohio State, the top in-state school and one of the best programs in the country.

"Well, I like Ohio State, but I've paid attention to them," said Thomas. "We had a player that committed to Ohio State early last year, and he was eligible and everything. Ohio State dropped him, they didn't want him anymore, a couple of days before signing day. That says a lot to me right there.

"Ohio State is a very good program, and I respect them a lot, but you have to pay attention to those things."

Thomas has been leaning to NC State for sometime now, as he picked up a Wolfpack offer months ago. Is that still the case?

"Yes, NC State is my leader," said Thomas. "NC State is my first official visit. I told my dad that it might just be that first official visit that seals the deal. I really think just me getting down there will do it for me. I've heard a lot of good things, and I think that might do it.

"I really think just me getting down there will do it for me."

"I really like coach Stroud, the defensive line coach. He is a very, very different type of coach. That was my second offer way back in February and ever since then I've talked with him. I just really like his personality."

Thomas mentions that his father will play a major role in his decision. His mother currently resides in San Diego, where Thomas grew up, and he moved to West Chester to live with his dad.

"My father plans on relocating down south somewhere," said Thomas. "He likes the North Carolina area... with the way it is down there and the businesses booming.

"I live with my father, and he's big on life after football. He wants me to look at the academics, and we've been doing the research on it. North Carolina State has an entrepeneur program that I'm really interested in because I want to go into business. That's another thing I like about them."

Thomas admits his interest in NC State really picked up after he saw two Wolfpack defensive ends, Mario Williams and Manny Lawson, get picked in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft.

"Everyone's still talking about that draft," he said. "You watch that draft and see you have an offer from North Carolina State, and it makes it mean even more.

"What that draft did was give you something you could see with your own eyes. You can hear that defensive linemen are good, and the coaches can coach them, but with the draft you can see it. You can see how the defensive linemen pan out at North Carolina State."

Two programs also under heavy consideration are Boston College and Arizona State. Thomas is scheduled to visit NC State the first weekend in November, and he already has a visit set with Arizona State as well. Boston College is hoping to schedule a trip as well.

"Arizona State, my mom lives four and a half hours away from there so I could be close to her," he said. "I'm from out west so it wouldn't be that big of a move for me."

"Boston College really wants to set up an official. They've had a lot of good defensive ends too."

Thomas is currently focusing on his academics, as he wants to enroll early at his future college.

"I definitely want to enroll early if I can," he said. "My grades are coming along, and I'm hoping I can get the scores to do it.

"It was a situation where I didn't know that I had to take them too seriously until I realized that I would have a future in college football. I've started to turn things around and did really good last quarter."

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