College Coaches Set To Get A Look At Thomas

When Frostproof Middle~Senior High (Fla.) begins spring football, they can expect a representative from almost every major college dropping by for a visit in hopes of impressing running back Carlton Thomas. Notre Dame assistant coach Bernie Parmalee will be one of the coaches in the crowd.

Parmalee and the 5-foot-7, 175-pound Carlton Thomas talk or text each other at least once every two weeks.

"We just talk about playing at the college level and the school mostly, and what Notre Dame has to offer to me," said Thomas, who holds an offer from the Irish and nine other schools. "Just a good education, being in the National Championship game, and playing at the top level every week.

"He sends me motivational messages to keep me going. Some messages are to let me know about the school and ask me what kind of day I'm having. I like him. He is a real good coach, and is real honest and straight up with me."

Thomas ran for 2,283 yards and 25 touchdowns this past season, edging out Florida signee, and one of the nation's best running backs Chris Rainey for the most yards rushing in Polk County. The elusive Thomas averaged 231 yards rushing per game, even though head coach Brad Metheny had to call the dogs off by the fourth quarter in half the team's games. Frostproof finished 7-3, just missing the state playoffs.

Thomas is small, but powerful. The high school junior bench presses 315 pounds and squats 445 pounds, on top of his 4.48 speed in the 40-yard dash.

On top of his contact with Notre Dame, Thomas is also talking with Auburn, West Virginia, Arkansas and Arizona State. He said he recently got a scholarship offer from USC, but has yet to establish one relationship with a college coach that stands out compared to the others.

"They really can't talk to you like that," Thomas said. "All of them have tried, all of them will be down for spring practice."

Thomas has almost all the offers he wants. He is wondering when the three major Florida schools are going to step to the plate.

"I don't hold it against them, but I would like to get some kind offer from those guys since they should've been the first to notice me," he said.

Thomas plans to visit Notre Dame officially during the bye week of his senior season, and make a college decision soon after the season is complete.


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