When we were putting together our first Texas Top 50 for 2014, there were several prospects considered for the No. 1 spot. In the end, its was defensive end Solomon Thomas from Coppell that was at the top of our initial Aggie Websider Texas Top 50 for 2014 announced two weeks ago.
As a sophomore, Solomon was a unanimous 7-5A first-team All-District selection and is already a physical specimen - 6-3, 258. 4.78 40, 4.2 shuttle, 30 vertical 330 bench, 485 squat, and 295 clean .
Solomon didn't start playing sports until his family moved to Texas from Connecticut when he was in fourth grade. Solomon became attracted to football, saying “It was the intensity of the college games that caught my attention. I got that feeling of ‘I want to be out there’ when I watched the games on TV”, Solomon said.
As a freshman in high school, Solomon played on the freshman A team and suited up for the varsity team. “I would go to freshman practice in the morning and have freshman practice again during fourth period and I would go to varsity practice in the afternoon.” Solomon said it was was this experence practicing with the varsity as a freshman that made his transition to the varsity as a sophomore easier. “It helped me a lot because this year I did not have to do any adjusting”, said Solomon.
Coming out of Spring practice his freshman year, big things were already being projected for Solomon his sophomore year. Coppell defensive line coach Steven Fex said in May of last year that it was freshmen Solomon who stood out the most to him, with his skill and work ethic so early in his high school career. “Solomon Thomas, defensive end, will see a lot of time on the field next fall because of he works hard every day,” Fex said.
Prior to his sophomore season Coppell head coach Joe McBride was saying he thought Solomon had superstar potential, “He’s just grown and matured. “He has a higher varsity IQ and he has more confidence. I’m just trying to get him to play at his full potential, and helping him with recruiting. If he keeps his head on straight, he could go far.”
Scout national recruiting analyst Greg Powers attended Solomon's first varsity game as a sophomore and reported “He was constantly putting pressure on the quarterback and showed that he had the strength to combat older and more mature players in the trenches.”
Fellow football players praised Solomon early in his sophomore season for his positive attitude and his drive to do better. “He puts in a lot of effort,” junior wide receiver/defensive back Jacob Logan said. “He brings in a leadership quality and he always lightens the mood. He connects well with the rest of the team.” Solomon made an impact on everyone, students, parents, and players alike. “Everyone loves Solly,” said Lister. “He has good sportsmanship and he is a hard worker, on and off the field.”
Solomon is a different player on and off the field. Solomon said.“Off the field, I’m kind of a jokester, but on the field it’s all serious. During games, I become a different person. Hearing the other players talking smack makes me mad, and my anger is what pushes me.”
Solomon fever spread among the Coppell student body. Students made shirts in September supporting Solomon with the slogan “Unleash the Beast” on the front and Solomon's picture and 'Solly' on the back. With all the “Solly” hype going around Solomon still managed to keep him grounded and keep his head on straight.
Solomon lived up to expectations his sophomore season, recording 60 tackles, 9 sacks, and 16 tackles for loss, earning unanimous 7-5A first-team All-District defensive end honors. Solomon played both sides of the defensive line,, normally lining up against the opponent's better tackle's side or on the strong side.
In an interview with me this weekend, Solomon cited his strengths as a player as being his strength, power, handwork, hustle, and physicality. He want to work on his explosiveness, speed, quickness, technique, and pass rush, and just wants to work as hard as he can to become the best player he can be.
Solomon said last September “I want to get a scholarship to a [Division I] school,” and “My top choices are OU, UCLA, Oregon, Texas or Florida”.
Solomon told me this weekend the school's that are recruiting him the hardest are UCLA, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Auburn, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Michigan State, and TCU.
When I asked him what he was looking for in a college, Solomon said “I am interested in a college that has a great education to offer me a program that I am comfortable with the coaches a place with a great campus life a place that I will play early a place that will help me out after I graduate and hook me up and a place that i love.”
While Solomon told me his favorite colleges growing up were Texas and North Carolina, Texas A&M may have an opening with its move to the SEC.
Solomon told me “I think that the SEC is the best conference and that would be great” to play in the SEC.
Solomon said he plans to go to the Nike combine next week and to attend some college camps this summer.
The Aggie Websider will continue to follow the recruitment of Solomon Thomas with great interest.