L.A. CITY SECTION PROFILE: THOMAS HERRING

Fremont standout dominates as a defensive and offensive lineman and pretty much has his pick of where he wants to go to college.

Thomas Herring is one of those freakish physical specimens who could play several different positions in college. And that's the main reason the Fremont High of Los Angeles athlete, who goes about 6-6 and 290 pounds, is probably one of the top 10 players on the West Coast for this season.

We love Herring as a future offensive lineman, although he prefers either defensive end or tight end. He's certainly one of the most athletic big men you'll ever see. We were at Fremont's game with Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw a year ago, scouting wide receiver Mark Bradford and Crenshaw defensive lineman Brandon Mebane. But as soon as we saw Herring, we were in awe. Talk about passing the eye ball test.

Herring did more than just look the part. Early in the first quarter, he took a little screen pass over the middle and sprinted like a receiver for a 60-plus yard touchdown. Physically, Herring is extremely strong without being weight room strong right now. He's a load to move on the defensive side of the ball, but with his long arms, great feet and superior athleticism, we can't help but think he'll make a great left tackle at the college level.

"Thomas is big time, probably the best prospect I've ever been around," Fremont head coach Pete Duffy said. "He's one of the few players you can look at and watch for just a little while and say he could play on Sundays. He's still learning the game but his upside is so huge, I really can't see him making it all the way."

As you would imagine, Herring has offers from just about every top program in the country and has a solid list of seven schools he's looking at right now.

"USC and Miami are still 1A and 1B," Herring said. "After that, I like Michigan, Notre Dame and UCLA in my top five and then Oklahoma and Florida State round out my list. I want to take visits to all of those schools although I don't want to take an official trip to either L.A school because it's so close and I can go there anytime.

"Right now, I'm just taking everything in. USC is the local school and recruiting me hard. I really like it there. Miami is a great school too and I have no problem leaving the West. In fact, my mom told me she thinks it would be best for me if I did leave the area. It would help me grow up as a person.

"Still, I'm in no hurry to decide, I'm just going to take my trips, watch how the teams do on the field and then decide when I feel ready. My main priority right now is my high school team and helping us make a nice run this season. We're going to be young but we have some athletes and I think we should be okay."


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