Maryland WR Returns From Rutgers Visit

Franklin High (Reisterstown, Md.) receiver Ian Thomas took an unofficial visit to Rutgers on Friday. He was on campus for more than eight hours getting a personal tour of the program and learning about the school. Thomas spoke to about his experience at Rutgers, and if any schools are standing out.

During a two-day span Franklin High (Reisterstown, Md.) receiver Ian Thomas spent plenty of time in the car and even more time listening to presentation from a pair of Big East schools.

Finally, Thomas was able to catch his breath Sunday, two days after making an unofficial visit to Rutgers and a day after he attended junior day at West Virginia.

And while the 6-foot, 188-pound Thomas said his visit to WVU was more generic because of the number of prospects associated with a junior day, the Rutgers visit was much different.

For Thomas, his trip to Piscataway, N.J., was a personal junior day experience, which began before 10 a.m. and didn't end for eight hours.

"I learned a lot about Rutgers," said Thomas, who has a Rutgers offer. "I learned more about their academic situation, their APR (Academic Progress Rate), and I got to talk to the dean (Carl Kirschner). It was just a bunch of things I didn't know before that I now know about Rutgers, which has given them an edge in the recruiting process."

Thomas made the journey north with Franklin High coach Anthony Burgos and offensive line coach Tim Miller, and one thing impressed him the most.

"Since the APR was No. 1 in the country, that really stood out," Thomas said. "When I told my mom, she was really impressed. I called her after the trip and told her about it."

While on the trip, though, Thomas spent much of his time speaking with Rutgers receivers coach P.J. Fleck.

"He's a great guy. He's really animated," he said. "He has a great deal of energy, and with him playing in the NFL and playing in a pro-style offense, he really tells me about the pro-style offense they're running there and how I can have an edge on it as the recruiting process continues."

Thomas also holds offers from Boston College, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Connecticut, Southern Miss and Stanford.

He has already been to Rutgers and Boston College, and he plans on visiting Stanford, Notre Dame and possibly Southern Miss in the spring.

As a junior, Thomas averaged 19 yards on 50 catches. He caught 15 touchdowns, and also returned three punts for scores.

"I want to be around people that have the same drive as me, the same motor, and want to succeed," Thomas said. "That's one of the biggest things I look for when I take these visits."

While football is important, academics will play a big part in Thomas' decision. He is yet to settle on a major, but the option he is thinking about the most is chemical engineering.

"(Academics) are very important," he said. "My mom talks to me, my coach talks to me all the time, how there has to be life after football. They have to really have a high academic program where I can see myself getting a degree so I can do something lucrative after football."

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