Suwanee (Ga.) Collins Hill linebacker Jonathan Thomas has been one of Syracuse's top defensive targets since he jumped on their radar in October. On Monday, linebackers coach Clark Lea spent some time with Thomas and his parents during an in-home visit.
"It was coach Lea," Thomas said. "He came on Monday. He stayed for about an hour. We talked about my break and his break and the dead period. Talked about me coming up on the 31st. How excited he was and how excited I was. He wanted to talk to my mom and my dad about all the academic stuff. They have a plan set up for me to get me up there as soon as possible.
"He was talking about the scheme that they want to run and what position they want me to play. Then he showed me some slideshows of the facilities and New York. They want me to play outside backer, SAM, on the strong side. I love playing outside linebacker, especially the strong side. Being in space and making plays. That's my favorite position to play."
Thomas is set to visit Syracuse on the 31st and is looking to experience the Orange program in person.
"I'm excited," Thomas said. "New York seems like a great place to visit. The coaching staff seems awesome up there. I'm just trying to see everything up there and meet more with the coaching staff. See the facilities in person. I'm just really excited, honestly."
Syracuse isn't the only school recruiting Thomas, as two prominent programs have expressed interest.
"Over the last two weeks, I've gotten some interest from Miami and Georgia," Thomas said. "The linebackers coach from Miami actually came to visit me and my mom on Wednesday. From Georgia, the defensive coordinator came by, coach (Jeremy) Pruitt."
Neither Miami nor Georgia have offered the three star linebacker, informing him the coaching staff was still trying to decide if they could offer him or not. They are supposed to let him know as soon as possible. The visit to Syracuse is only one currently scheduled.
One of the concerns with Thomas is whether he would qualify academically. He says he has worked hard to get things in order.
"It will depend on my test scores," Thomas said. "My SAT and ACT scores. I take them soon. I can take them as many times as I can until the day I enroll. These past two semesters, I've had no life. My mom has been real strict. I have no life. I'm just hear studying and studying, trying to get this thing right. It's stressful.
"You're supposed to be outside enjoying yourself and I'm here studying. I keep getting A's and B's in my classes. My schedule is after school I have tutoring, workouts, come home for more tutoring, then sleep. That's my schedule. It'll all be worth it, definitely. That's the main goal right now."
Oklahoma was one of Thomas' top choices throughout his recruitment. However, they continued to string him along and the three star linebacker has moved on from the Sooners.
"I told them that I wasn't comfortable with the coaching staff," Thomas said. "Syracuse has been on me since day one and coach Lea has been there trying his hardest out of all the coaches that have been recruiting me. I respect that. With Oklahoma, I don't know where I stand on their depth chart.
"But with Syracuse, I know exactly where I stand. That's a big reason why Syracuse is number one for me right now."