Jr. Lineman Discusses College Interests

<b>Morgan Thomas</b>, from Parkland High School in Allentown, PA, is rated as one of the top high school offensive lineman in Pennsylvania for the upcoming football season. What schools have contacted him? Who are his favorites?

Name: Morgan Thomas
Position: OL
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 309 pounds
40-yard dash: 5.0 seconds
Hometown/School: Parkland HS, Allentown, PA

Morgan Thomas was a starter as a sophomore for the Parkland High School team that featured Austin Scott and won the Pennsylvania 2002 AAAA championship. Now having completed his junior season, Morgan is regarded as one of the top offensive line prospects in the state. After the 2003 season, Thomas was named first team All-Conference, first team All Lehigh Valley and second team All State.

Morgan has received no scholarship offers at this point but is receiving interest from major schools. What schools are expressing the most interest?

"I'd say Iowa, Penn State and Virginia."

Morgan's dad was an offensive lineman for the University of Virginia in the late ‘60s and remains a big follower of the Cavaliers. So who did Morgan root for while he was growing up?

"I liked Virginia and Penn State mostly."

We asked Morgan if he had visited any schools yet.

He told us, "I didn't take any official visits yet but I saw football games at Virginia (vs. Georgia Tech) and Penn State (vs. Ohio State). Maryland invited me to a basketball game and so did Virginia."

Under NCAA regulations coaches cannot initiate telephone contact with a junior prospect until May (when one phone call is allowed) or in-person recruiting contact until July, but prospects can call the coaches if they so choose. We asked Morgan if he had initiated any contacts.

"I called Iowa and Penn State and Virginia. Iowa sent me a letter and said to call them on signing day. I called them and they asked if we would come visit in March for junior day." Does he plan to go? "I'm pretty sure, yeah."

Jay Paterno is recruiting Thomas for Penn State. Has Penn State invited him to junior day?

"No, not yet."

At Parkland High School Morgan blocked for Austin Scott and Nick Pincheck (a preferred walk-on who enrolled at Penn State last month). We asked Morgan if his two ex-teammates were giving him any advice.

"Nick really wants me to go Penn State but I'm keeping my options open for now. He's trying to get me up there."

We asked Morgan if he had a leader among the schools that have expressed interest.

He said, "I'm leaning towards Penn State a little bit. When I was up there they treated us real well. They gave us a real nice meal before the game and gave us a nice tour of the campus. We got to see the athletic facilities and stuff. The coaching staff was real nice. They all came upstairs during our lunch and were talking to us."

Although Thomas has received most of his recognition on offense, he also plays occasionally at defensive tackle. We asked him if the schools recruiting him had indicated where he was most likely to play.

He responded, "I'm pretty sure I'm going to be offense. And I think I will most likely be moved to center or play guard. It doesn't matter. I kind of want to play guard because I like pulling. We put in a lot of plays for me to pull this year at tackle."

What are Morgan's strong points as an offensive lineman?

"I'm fairly quick off the ball and I can move people around pretty well."

When asked if there were any other schools he was interested in, Morgan singled out Ohio State.

"I just love their program. I love their game plan, their running and the passing. I think it's very well balanced. I love a team that powers the football." Has he heard from them? "I got questionnaires from them and stuff but they didn't really send me anything big."

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