North Carolina in it for Thomas

North Carolina and N.C. State are battling for the services of the top lineman in North Carolina, with Tennessee trying to sway the Carver star to take his skills out of state. <i> Inside Carolina </i> recently caught up with "Puff," and here is what he had to say.

Isaiah Thomas (6-3, 290, Carver HS, Winston-Salem, NC) is arguably the top lineman in the State of North Carolina. With North Carolina needing defensive linemen he has been one of the top targets of the 2003 class for the UNC staff.

"Coach Bunting and Coach Webster tell it to me straight. Coach Webster has been recruiting me every day (letters etc.) since day one," Thomas told IC recently.

North Carolina isn't the only school recruiting Thomas hard. As signing day nears, they are tied with North Carolina State and Tennessee in Thomas's mind as his collegiate destination.

"North Carolina, Tennessee, and N.C. State are my three favorites," Thomas said. "They are all even."

Until recently, reports across the Internet had N.C. State and Tennessee as the leaders, with North Carolina third. The defensive line coach at North Carolina, Rod Broadway, was recently dismissed and the thought was that this would diminish the Tar Heels chances.

"I was (upset) at first because I had developed a good relationship with Coach Broadway," Thomas said. "Coach Webster and Coach Bunting talked with me about Coach Broadway. He told me that he thought it was best for the team to make the move and that I was his number one guy. They also talked about how they have been recruiting be since day one. He also assured me that he would get the best guy to be DT coach who would be at least as qualified if not more qualified than Coach Broadway."

Apparently, the visit by Bunting and Webster reassured Thomas. After the visit, the Tar Heels were back in the mix as one of the three schools the Carver star will choose from.

"Carolina is still Carolina," Thomas said. "Chapel Hill is a great town and Carolina is a great place to go to school."

Thomas has set four official visits; Maryland, North Carolina, N.C. State, and Tennessee.

It will likely go down to the wire for Thomas, but the Tar Heels are back in the mix.



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