Ohio High Top 100 Countdown: No. 7

The Cincinnati area is the place to look for defensive ends this year, and West Chester Lakota West's Solomon Thomas is a big reason why. Thomas is next on the list on our Ohio High Top 100 countdown, standing in at No. 7.

EDITOR'S NOTE – Today we continue our 14-part series where we unveil the top 101 football prospects in Ohio's Class of 2007. These rankings were assembled by Bucknuts and Ohio High recruiting editor Duane Long. They were originally published in the May 2006 edition of Ohio High magazine. Here is the eighth installment with a look at the player ranked seventh.

7. ***** Solomon Thomas
6-4 215 DE West Chester Lakota West

I will never forget a statement made by Lakota West head coach Larry Cox when I spoke to him in December. We were discussing the best players in the class of 2007 and I mentioned Ben Martin.

Cox told me he had one just as good.

That was stunning, but not as stunning as the film Cox sent me that showed he was not off base. Thomas is a tremendous football player and he is a perfect compliment to Ben Martin. But I see a more physical player in Thomas.

Cox plays Solomon Thomas on both the weak side and the strong side of the formation and I am certain that Thomas can play on the weak side as a primary pass rusher. He could be an ideal strong side defensive end.

While Martin is a little taller and a bit heavier, Thomas looks better put together of the two. He plays the run better and seems to be more comfortable in close quarters. In the pass rush, Thomas shows an uncanny ability to get his hands on passes. I stopped counting the number of balls he got his hands on while watching his film. He has that relentless nature that is essential to a pass rusher.

Thomas has all the tools and has an edge to his game.

Martin is a little more advanced but I think by the time it counts you will not be able to pick one over the other. Thomas has offers from Cincinnati, Illinois and N.C. State.

As a junior, Thomas tallied 58 tackles (second on team) with 30 solos, 13 tackles-for-loss, seven sacks, nine pass break-ups and one fumble forced last season. Lakota West was 7-3 on the season.

Update: Thomas has offers from Boston College, North Carolina State, Louisville, Illinois, Arizona State, Cincinnati, Miami (Ohio) and Akron. He is also interested in Ohio State.

Bucknuts subscribers can go to this link (Thomas' bio page) to find a video link to Thomas in action:


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