Offers Coming In

While some high school seniors-to-be are making their college choices before their final seasons begin, this Florida linebacker has come to the realization that the recruiting process is just getting underway.

"At first I was a little nervous, because I wasn't getting a lot of offers, but now they are starting to come in," said linebacker James Thomas. "I've gotten five or six offers, and I've come to realize it's still early, so I'm feeling good about it."

Among those schools offering the standout defender are West Virginia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Temple and Akron. A number of other schools, such as Michigan State, Syracuse, Colorado and Florida are also interested, according to the versatile defender.

"I was a little worried at first when I wasn't getting many offers [when I was a junior], but things are starting to pick up now. A lot of schools are calling me and letting me know they are interested."

Partly due to the increase in interest, Thomas is in no hurry to make a decision.

"I am going to wait and see who else comes at me," the Ely High School senior said. "I plan to take all five of my official visits and learn as much as I can about each school."

Thomas is the son of former West Virginia University linebacking star J.T. Thomas, which has many thinking the Mountaineers have the inside edge in this battle. But while the younger Thomas admits that he is very interested in WVU, he said that his father is not putting any pressure on him to attend a particular school.

"My dad told me he would leave the decision up to me," Thomas said. "He wants me to make the decision for myself. He has helped me with some of the things in the process, though. The big thing he told me is that I'd hear a lot of stuff, but the key thing is knowing who to trust and learning who to believe. People might tell you you're going to start or play a lot as a freshman, but I am not going to get caught up in all of that. I just want a place where I can come in, work hard, and earn a spot."

That's not to say that Thomas doesn't like WVU, however. He has been checking out the Mountaineer program closely, and has found several things to like in addition to the fact that it's his father's alma mater.

"I like West Virginia not only because of my dad, but because of program and the way things are run there." he noted. "Coach Rodriguez and Coach Casteel are good coaches. I also like the fact that they recruit in Florida -- that makes me comfortable because they recruit down here, and know what Florida players are like. I played Palm Beach Lakes, and played against [West Virginia signees] Jetavious Best and Jarrett Brown. I know what kind of players they are, and that lets me know West Virginia is good with recruiting Florida players."

Thomas is working out this summer in Morgantown, and plans to return to Florida at the end of July to begin preparing for his senior season of football.

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