Recruit name: Chad Thomas
High School and hometown: Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington High School
Position: Thomas is considered one of the top defensive end prospects in the country.
Height and weight: Thomas stands at 6'4 and weighs in at 230 pounds.
Ratings: Thomas is ranked 207th overall in the Rivals rankings. Thomas is considered a top 25 weakside defensive end by 247 Sports and a top 50 recruit in the state of Florida. Thomas is a four star defensive end and ranked as a top 15 defensive end by Scout. Thomas is also on the ESPN Watchlist.
Offers: Thomas currently holds offers from major college football programs like Florida, Florida State, LSU, Louisville, Miami(FL), Ole Miss, and Texas A&M.
Highlights: Junior highlight reel available via Hudl.
Bud Elliott, National Recruiting Analyst: Thomas is a defensive end with a lot of potential. At this point, he is a better prospect than a high school player. Thomas is 6'5 and listed at 230 pounds, but seeing him recently, it's clear he is continuing to put on good size. He could easily be 240 pounds come August of 2014. Thomas is very long, and his frame has room to eventually play north of 260 pounds.
Thomas has good quickness off the football and often shoots the inside gap. He quickly closes distance between himself and the quarterback or running back. Thomas often times the snap and shoots into the backfield before the opposing offensive lineman can react.
Because his high school has a serious lack of size inside, Thomas is sometimes asked to slide down inside and play defensive tackle. He's not exactly well suited for the role, but when he plays low and the opposing guard plays too high, he is capable of overpowering him. His use inside is similar to how the New York Giants use their four defensive ends at one time by moving them inside on passing downs.
But when Thomas doesn't play low, or when he doesn't use his length, he is very blockable due to his lack of bulk. In time, Thomas should use his length and hands more consistently and effectively, keeping defenders away from his body. He should also become even better at batting down passes.
Because of his continued growth and the new addition of power to his game, I am really excited to see Thomas play his senior season. He profiles as an eventual multi-year starter for a top program.
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