Versatility is the key to Locust's game

Cerritos DT Thomas Locust (6-4, 320) is about as versatile as they get up front. He can play anywhere along the line, but he's a physical and dominating force inside. He's already started to garner some recruiting interest from schools across the country and he spoke with JCFootball.com about those schools and how his offseason went now that training camp has started.

"We have some guys on our offensive line that really get you ready to play," Locust said after a recent workout. "Mike Diaz and I go at it every day in practice. Sometimes I hit up (Phillip) Garcia too, but me and Mike always face off.

"They are both big and strong guys and Mike just is physical and goes after you hard every time. You have to be ready to play if you're facing him and that really gets you mentally prepared for gameday."

Locust prepped at Suncoast High School in Riviera Beach, Florida and knew he wasn't going to qualify for a D-1 program, so he accepted an offer to play at Florida A&M, but after a semester there he decided to head to California to join a former teammate at Cerritos.

"I just felt like I could play D-1 and that's where I wanted to play at so I headed out with my boy Mark Jean-Louis out here and never looked back," Locust said.

Because of his size, you might think that Locust only plays inside, but last year as a freshman he played nose guard, defensive tackle (three-technique) and defensive end.

"When we played a 3-4 they stuck me out wide," Locust said. "I loved it because playing in space is what I do best I think. The coaches really like my feet and how quickly I get off the ball and that's what really sets me apart from some of the other guys my size – I can really get on a guy with my first step."

On the recruiting front, Locust has been hearing from schools from across the country and said that some could be close to offering.

"Most of the schools said they want to see my first couple of games just to get some more film on me," Locust said. "Arizona State, Kansas State, Texas A&M, Louisville and a couple of Pac 10 schools have been looking at me a little more. My coach has all my letters and stuff, but those are the ones that have really made an effort so far."

Locust is from the Sunshine State, he says he considers himself a West Coaster and that he's more than happy to stay out west.

"This has kinda become home for me," Locust said. "I love it out here and think that I could stay out here.

"As far as where I'll end up going a lot depends on playing time, but location and the coaching staff are two things I really want to make sure feel comfortable too. I think I can play for anyone, so it just depends on how I feel when I check each school out."

Locust expects to graduate in May and will have three years to play two following the season.

We'll have more from this talented interior defensive lineman as the season gets underway.

Thomas Locust Scout Profile


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