Three-star offensive tackle Thomas Gallagher lives in a beautiful area of Northwest Washington State, surrounded on the east by the Olympic Mountains and on the north and west by the Pacific Ocean. While Gallagher's home is ideal for its scenery, it is a disadvantage when it comes to being recruited by colleges.
"I'm tearing it up, up here, but just being in an area where I am this cut off from the rest of the world, not many people really know where I am," Gallagher reported.
In recent weeks, though, a few BCS Conference schools have found Gallagher and the Sequim, Wash., native is optimistic regarding the feedback he is receiving.
"I haven't gotten anymore new offers, but I have gotten new looks," Gallagher said. "I've been talking to Florida State a little bit and Boston College. Just recently I started talking to UCLA and those are the three big ones that are showing some interest.
"At Florida State I talked to Coach [Rick] Trickett directly. He saw my junior highlight film and he was very impressed with my junior [film] and he wanted to see some of my senior film, so I just sent those off [Tuesday]. I sent a bunch of senior film to him and Boston College.
"Boston College has not talked to me directly, but they have talked to my coach a few times and apparently their recruiting coordinator is very interested in me. At UCLA, I talked to their recruiting coordinator a little bit, but they mostly have just been sending mail."
The recent rise in attention from nationally recognized college programs has given Gallagher more optimism that schools will find talent no matter where it lives, but he does wish that attention would have arrived a little sooner.
"I'm really excited about the college's interest and it is kind of nice that colleges do know where I am," Gallagher said. "I know I shouldn't rush things, but I'm hoping to get more offers soon because I don't have that much time left before it's time for me to commit. So far the only offers I have are Princeton and West Texas A&M, which is a D-2 school."
Ivy League programs Harvard and Princeton have both asked for Gallagher to take official visits to their schools, and he expects to make those trips in December. He is eligible for recruitment by the Ivy Leagues due to his 3.6 GPA and 1680 on the SAT.
Gallgher's performance at Schuman's Ultimate 100 Camp West on July 12 first brought him national attention football recruiting attention. He was graded out as a three-star prospect and the No. 78 offensive tackle in the country after that event and feels his game has continued to make strides this fall.
"My game has really improved in pass blocking; it is ten times better than it was," Gallagher said. "I've always been a really good run blocker because in the past that's what we've always done, but our coach just recently changed to the spread system and we've been utilizing our receivers a lot more.
Sequim High is 5-1 on the season. A greater emphasis on the passing game means opposing defenses are trying to find ways to put pressure on Gallagher's quarterback. So far, that means he has seen a lot of 190-pound rush ends as teams try to counteract his size and technique with sheer speed.
"It's hard because I feel like I have to get down twice as low to get to their chest, but so far this year I have not allowed any sacks," Gallagher reported.