The Longhorns are considered to be extremely conservative when it comes
to giving early verbal offers to soon to be juniors. However, that
could possibly be changing. Josh Thomas, a 2013 offensive tackle from
Shreveport, La., says the he recently has received an early offer from Texas.
The 6-foot-7, 329-pound big man attended Texas’ June 12th mini-camp due to an invitation from one of the Texas coaches.
“Coach (Stacy) Searels came to my school about two weeks before the camps started,” said Thomas. “He told me that he wanted me to come out and check out what Texas had to offer, because he really liked what he saw of me. So I made plans to come to their second camp and did.”
While the camp was going on, the Texas staff told him his performance was very impressive and that they wanted to talk more with him afterward.
“He (Searels) told me to stick around after it was over,” Thomas said. “The reason was because we were going to have a meeting with both him and Coach Mack Brown. I was excited because I didn’t know what exactly to expect.”
Once the camp cleared, the coaches brought him into Mack Brown’s office.
“It was just us three in there,” Thomas explained. “Coach Brown, Coach Searels and myself. We all chatted for a little bit about football, school and that type of stuff. Toward the end of our conversation, Coach Searels said they really liked what they saw of me that day and then Coach Brown offered me. I was really surprised and couldn’t believe it.”
The Longhorns are the first school to offer the rising junior, but the Shreveport product says that he believes others will follow soon.
“I’m hearing from a lot of schools,” Thomas told Inside Texas. “Off the top of my head, I can tell you that LSU, Alabama, Texas A&M and Michigan have been very interested. Alabama actually came to my school and watched me a few times this spring. LSU invited me back to their second camp on July 17 as well. It will be my second time to attend that.”
While it’s hard for a Texas school to pull a recruit from Louisiana, especially when LSU is involved, the Longhorns might be on the right track.
“I really like Texas,” Thomas said. “Growing up, they were always a school I watched. I basically grew up rooting for them. They always won and just looked great out on the field. That really stood out. Plus they’re the first school to offer me, so that’s a plus too.”
Texas also has other factors in play that should help their chances, mainly the coaching staff itself.
“One thing I enjoyed above all was the coaches,” said Thomas. “They’re all exactly what I am wanting in a coach. On the field they push you to the limit, work you hard and try to make you the best you can be. They want you to be a winner. Off the field, they’re very cool, laid back and relaxed. They stress family to you and are very friendly. That’s my perfect kind of coach and that’s what I think the coaches at Texas really seem to be like. Coach Searels especially, I was real impressed with him.”
Another is location.
“I don’t want to go off real far,” Thomas said. “Austin isn’t far away at all. I think it’s about six hours or so from Shreveport. Really that’s not too much further than LSU or Alabama. So that’s another bonus for UT as well.”
Right now Thomas says that he’ll remain open in the recruiting process. He wants to take things slow, at least for a while anyway.
“I’m open to everyone,” he explained. “Obviously Texas offered first and I like them, but I’m going to take a look at everybody that’s interested in me. Coaching is the most important thing to me, so if they have great coaches, then I’m listening. Right now everyone is equal though.”
Thomas told Inside Texas that he plans to make it down to Austin at least once this fall to take in a football game.