Four-star TE visits Oregon State soon

Christian Thomas, the 6-foot-3, 245-pound four-star TE from Highland High in Palmdale, Calif., has already taken an official visit to UO and is scheduled to visit Oregon State, Miami and USC in January. Thomas says he may wait until signing day to announce his decision. "I may just wait until then," Thomas said. "Don't hold me to it because I'm not sure, but that's definitely a possibility."

He doesn't plan on deciding until after all his trips but interestingly, Christian Thomas says he doesn't want to compare the four schools -- Oregon State, Oregon, Miami and USC. "I'm going to all of them open-minded. I'm not going to compare..."

"I'm still totally open," Thomas said. "But these are the ones I'm talking to the most."

Thomas, ranked as the No. 7 tight end in the country by, has an in-home visit with Oregon State last week.

"He (defensive line coach Joe Seumalo) talked about how it is over there and how the people are," he said. "He talked to my parents and pretty much went over every little thing about the program and school. We've got a bunch of brochures we're still going over."

Thomas says he likes how the Beavers utilize the tight end. "They have a good offense and like to throw the ball," he said. "They have a great offense and I like their style of play. They pass to the tight end a lot and that's good for me."

He will be taking an official visit to Corvallis on Jan. 9.

He visited the Ducks for the Arizona State game.

"It's a great place," he said about Oregon. "Great people…great everything. I have nothing bad to say about them at all.

"I love how much they love college football," Thomas said. "They are real fans. They treat their players like NFL players or rock stars. They have a huge fan base because there's no pro team there except Portland (Trailblazers) but that's basketball. After the game the people wait for hours trying to get the players' autographs and stuff."

Thomas says the Ducks are the team that have impressed him the most during the 2009 season. "They're going to the Rose Bowl and that's real exciting," he said. "They rolled over a lot of teams and I didn't really know a lot about them until they started recruiting. They're for real. That team can play."

He was expecting an in-home visit from the Ducks staff yesterday.

Last week Thomas also had an in-home visit from Miami's linebackers coach Michael Barrow. "He thinks that Miami would be a good fit for a guy with my skills," he said. "They say they like my size and how I'm versatile. They like my hands."

Thomas feels he could also play early at Miami. "They are low at tight end," he said. "So I could compete early there and that's something that is very appealing."

The ‘Canes are the only East Coast school on Thomas' list. Will distance be a factor? "No," he said. "Distance isn't gonna matter. I need to grow up and be a man and get a new experience. I'm not gonna let the distance decide where I go."

Although he's never been to the "Magic City," Thomas says he's heard great things about Miami. "Everyone I know who's been there loved it," he said. "Plus I've seen it on TV a lot and it looks beautiful."

Thomas will get a chance to judge Miami for himself on Jan. 16 when he visits the ‘Canes officially.

His final official trip will be to USC on Jan. 23. He's expecting an in-home visit from the Trojans coaches on Monday. Dec. 14.

Thomas has an interesting take on the Trojans disappointing 2009 season. "They didn't even have a bad year," he said. "They finished like 8-4. People are really overreacting about it. It's like the (New England) Patriots…they were 17-0 a few years ago and now they're in a slump, but they're still a top team. You can't dominate forever."

One reason that Thomas believes the Trojans didn't live up to their high standard was because of injuries. "Their tight ends all had injuries this year," he said. "I think that really held them back and hurt them getting going.

"But it's still a great place," he said. "I wouldn't be surprised if USC went undefeated next year. That's how good they are."

While Thomas says he doesn't hold an 8-4 season against the Trojans, he admits that winning is very important to him. "I'm a winner," he said. "I love to win. That's why I work so hard. I don't work this much just to have fun. I love football and think it's fun, but for me it's about competition and being the best."

Thomas helped lead his team to a 6-5 record with 670 yards receiving and nine touchdowns. Defensively, he had 20 tackles for loss and 13 sacks.

Although he doesn't have a time frame set, Thomas says he may wait until signing day to announce his decision. "I may just wait until then," he said. "Don't hold me to it because I'm not sure, but that's definitely a possibility."

He doesn't plan on deciding until after all his trips, but interestingly, Thomas says he doesn't want to compare the schools. "I'm going to all of them open-minded," he said. "I'm not going to compare anything. That's not how I want to do it. It's like moving into a brand new house for the first time…you have nothing to compare it to.

"I just need to feel right at that school," he said.

Thomas reports a 3.6 core GPA and took his SAT during the summer but says he doesn't remember his score. He was supposed to retake the SAT on Dec. 5, but says he signed up too late. "I'm taking it in January for sure," he said.

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