Jack Freeman / IrishIllustrated.com

Irish have big plans for four-star Ambry Thomas

Brian Kelly sees a potential two-way threat in four-star cornerback Ambry Thomas, who attended Junior Day.

Four-star junior cornerback Ambry Thomas of Detroit, Mich., heard something different this weekend.

Thomas spent Saturday at Notre Dame for its Junior Day, where he toured campus and met with the coaching staff. During those sessions the King High School product spoke with head coach Brian Kelly, who talked about where Thomas could fit into the program.

Kelly broached the possibility of Thomas fitting in on both sides of the ball. Notre Dame had yet to bring up that possibility during the recruiting process.

“He said with my speed I could play the nickel or outside corner,” Thomas said. “On offense he said he could see me as like an outside receiver because past receivers have been 5-11, 6-1 or 6-2. He said my body is still growing. He can see me growing into 6-2 and playing receiver also.”

Thomas doesn’t have a preference on position at this point.

Kelly didn’t just talk football. He also brought up the academic side of things. Junior Day in general emphasized life away from football more than what happens in Notre Dame Stadium during the fall.

“That’s what the main focus about (Saturday) was,” Thomas said. “They said a 98.3 percentage graduate. That’s a real nice percentage.”

Defensive backs coach Todd Lyght caught up with Thomas as well. Thomas came away impressed with Lyght, a former Notre Dame All-American and national champion who went on to become a first-round pick and Super Bowl champion.

“He’s a real cool guy,” Thomas said. “Real cool, my type of coach. He kept everything so real. He just explained everything to me. He played like 12 years in the NFL and the average person only plays like three and a half. He just broke it all down for us.”

Next for Thomas is a planned visit to LSU late next month. He also plans to see Cincinnati and Ohio State soon. Notre Dame has at the very least solidified its position right near the top with other contenders.

“They’re one of them at the top,” Thomas said. “A few schools are even — Cincinnati, Michigan State, Wisconsin, LSU.”

Thomas is also considering scholarship offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, Syracuse, West Virginia and Wisconsin, among others.

Taking more visits will help Thomas sort through those options.

“I want to get to know the coaches better,” he said. “I have all the offers I really want.”

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