Georgia DE Planning Early Decision

Walton (Marietta, GA) standout defensive end Chase Thomas is a player to watch in the Peach State's class of 2008, as the athletic lineman has quietly racked up an impressive list of scholarship offers over the past few months. One of his more recent offers came from Coach Shane Beamer and the South Carolina Gamecocks. Is USC a factor with this top defensive end target? Read inside to find out.

Thomas, who measures in at a solid 6'4" and 210 pounds, has seen his offer list grow to thirteen schools in recent weeks, and he is currently enjoying all of the attention that he is getting from college coaches. With the spring evaluation period in full force, Thomas discussed all the latest in his recruitment.

"It's going well. A bunch of college coaches have come by my school lately to watch me practice. I'm getting a lot of attention," said Thomas. "I've got offers from LSU, Auburn, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Michigan State, Purdue, Duke, Maryland, Boston College, Kentucky, Louisville, Indiana and Syracuse."

South Carolina is one of the most recent schools to jump in the mix after extending an offer his way a few weeks ago, and the pass rushing specialist, who runs a 4.7 second forty yard dash, is already quite familiar with the Gamecock program after attending their junior day in early March.

"Coach Spurrier is an amazing coach, and he's brought in a good coaching staff. I loved the facilities up there when I visited for their junior day, and I enjoyed the campus as well. I liked what I saw."

Thomas has also developed a strong relationship with his USC recruiter, Coach Shane Beamer, as Beamer recruited him last year when he was an assistant coach at Mississippi State and has continued doing so with the Gamecocks.

"(Coach Beamer) is real easy to get along with. We've talked numerous times. He recruited me at Mississippi State before, and then he went to South Carolina and kept following me there. That was good."

With so many different schools pursuing him, Thomas said he will not be ready to name any favorites until after he visits all of the programs he is interested in.

"I don‘t really have any favorites yet. I want to visit the different schools before I name any favorites."

Thomas has already made visits to Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Auburn, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt and Duke, and he plans on attending several camps this summer as well. So what factors will he be looking for to differentiate between all of the different schools he‘s considering?

"Definitely just getting along with the coaches and enjoying the campus. I'll also look at the facilities and the depth chart to see if I have a chance at early playing time. I'm not going to want to sit on the bench for all four years."

While he doesn't yet claim any favorites, Thomas does plan to make a decision before the fall arrives.

"I'm hoping sooner than later. I definitely want to make it before the season starts."

Thomas, who recorded an impressive 82 tackles, 20 sacks and 17 tackles for loss as a junior last season, discussed what strengths he brings to the football field.

"I'm explosive. I'm quick and aggressive. I can get to the quarterback. I move my feet real well, and I can get past the blockers to make the tackle."

The highly touted Peach State prospect closed by sharing what goals he has set for his senior season this fall.

"Our goal is definitely winning the region. I want to become a better leader, make the playoffs and make a strong run in the playoffs."

Thomas, who was a consensus All-Cobb County first team selection at defensive end last season, also performed well at the tight end position, as he totaled 6 catches for 129 yards. He projects as a full qualifier with a 3.8 GPA and a 1520 on the SAT.

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