On a day when so many of the state's other top prospects stayed home, Solomon Thomas blended into a swath of varying bodies, all of them trying to make a bigger name for themselves, or to get noticed by college recruiters.
Thomas was the only top-20 or so in-state player for 2014 to attend the U.S. Army All-American Combine. Many would say it wasn't needed. Thomas already has more offers than he can count. But for the burly defensive end from Coppell, it was just another day at work, trying to improve.
"Definitely my first step and exploding off the ball," Thomas said on what he's working on. "Being disciplined."
Discipline shouldn't be a problem for a prospect who is attacking his recruitment with an open mind and a balanced thought process. Thomas, who has offers from Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Notre Dame, UCLA, Stanford, LSU, North Carolina, West Virginia and Clemson (among others), said he doesn't have any favorites at this point.
"I'm just trying to evaluate right now and not have any favorites so that I can take a look at each program carefully," Thomas said. "I'm looking a lot at my comfortability with the coaching staffs.
Thomas has plans to attend Alabama's Junior Day, and said that he also will be in attendance for the first Texas Junior Day coming up in February. Thomas was one of the first players offered by the Longhorns in the 2014 class, and he said he's always had a soft spot for the home-state school.
"Of course, I'm still open," Thomas said. "But they're definitely up there."
Thomas has already visited the 40 Acres, and said he really enjoyed his experience.
"I was really comfortable when I went down there," Thomas said. "And just how they presented the athletic side as well as the academics was great. They have all those connections with everyone there. That made me comfortable. I could see myself in their system and that's the kind of stuff I liked."
It was a difficult season for Coppell, which lost star player Jacob Logan midway through the season. The players honored Logan by wearing his number 21 on the sides of their helmets. Yet the Cowboys powered through, going undefeated through the regular season and making it to the second round of the playoffs, when they ran into a DeSoto buzzsaw.
"It was definitely a hard season," Thomas said. "It was fun too, though. We learned a lot about life and football and we worked extremely hard. We bonded and came together, and had a great year. It wasn't the outcome that we wanted, but it was fun and I couldn't have asked for a better year.
Sure he can. In fact, Thomas said the Cowboys, laden with young talent in 2012, were gearing up for a deeper run into the playoffs in 2013.
I think the team is already ready to have a better year than last year," Thomas said.