It is an accomplishment when a high school football player lands a scholarship offer. For DT Thomas Locust, the prospects of continuing his football career appeared bleak when he graduated from Suncoast High School in Riviera Beach, Fla. The 6-3, 295 pound offensive lineman had earned all-state honors in high school and signed with Florida A&M but didn't qualify as a freshman.
After sitting out in 2005, Locust went to Cerritos (Ca) junior college and saw time as an offensive lineman in 2006. Midway through that season he was switched to the defensive line and has flourished ever since.
This year, Locust, now 6-3, 325 pounds, finished off the 2007 season with 24 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, one sack and five QB hurries. The NC State coaches took notice and have extended an invitation for an official visit on Jan 25. Locust talked with Pack Pride about the interest he's received from the Wolfpack coaches.
"State has been recruiting since about mid-way of the season," said Locust. "Coach Willis (NC State defensive line coach Keith Willis) is recruiting me. They originally wanted me to come for a visit before the Christmas break but it didn't work out so they wanted to bring me in on the 25th when they're bringing in their other JUCO players. He said they wanted me for the defensive line and they'd also give me a shot at kick and punt returner."
While he would easily be the largest kick returner in the country, Locust was just joking but he was serious when talking about his interest in NC State.
"I've really got a lot of interest in them," he said. "They're in the ACC. They play Miami and Florida State down in Florida so that would give me a chance to play close to home. I also have a couple of former teammates that are up there in DeAndre and DaJuan Morgan. I was at Suncoast when DaJuan was our QB and DaJuan was a year behind me."
Locust said he believes an offer is on the table but he'll know for sure once he arrives in Raleigh. If the offer is solid and the visit goes well, Locust said it may not take long to make a decision.
"They told me I've got an offer but they'll make it official when I go up there for my visit," he said. "It's a heavy decision to make but if I like the campus, I could definitely make my decision right then and there."
Locust has been rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com.