Defensive backs coaches need to come prepared in talks with Ambry Thomas this spring.
Several have already made their way to King High School in Detroit to check on the four-star cornerback. Penn State, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia are just a few. Thomas values their interest but also their insight into his position specifically.
Thomas wants to spend a lot of time talking about technique. Come the season he’ll apply those lessons and see which coaches had the best ideas.
“I’ve been getting tips from a lot of the coaches,” Thomas said. “Like (Pittsburgh) coach (Renaldo) Hill, I talk to him a lot getting tips from him. Coach Donte (Williams) from Arizona, I talk to him a lot of time and get tips from him. Just what position coach I vibe with the best.”
Notre Dame defensive backs coach Todd Lyght and Penn State cornerbacks coach Terry Smith also made the list of coaches in regular contact.
Thomas visited Notre Dame for Junior Day during the winter and has been keeping in touch with Lyght on the regular since. Notre Dame is likely to make stops at King High School during the spring evaluation period as well. Lyght also played his high school ball in the area.
“I talk to coach Lyght,” Thomas said. “I check in with him like every week or so, every two weeks. That’s real nice.”
In terms of conversations, Thomas keeps things more position-centric rather than about the programs at large. Lyght brings a unique perspective having been an All-American at Notre Dame before going in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Thomas wants to pick the brain of coaches with that kind of resume.
“We’re talking strictly technique,” Thomas said. “All my questions are toward technique. I find out how they coach and will try it out this season. If I like it, I’ll keep that coach in mind a lot.”
Heading into the summer, Thomas will do some more in-person information gathering. He hopes to visit Arizona, Colorado, Penn State, Pittsburgh and West Virginia. Arizona State, Auburn, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Ohio State, South Carolina and Wisconsin are among the other offers on the table.
Michigan State hosted the 5-foot-11, 165-pound prospect twice in April, including for its spring game.
“That went well,” Thomas said. “Had a great time. I saw that Donnie (Corley) got a lot of playing time. That’s making them higher on the list. They had a great rotation on the DBs. It seems like their DBs are getting better but I could still possibly come in and play early on either side of the ball.”
But with so many options on the table, Thomas plans to keep the field even for the foreseeable future.
“I’m not gonna cut it down,” he said. “I’ll keep my options open.”