Florida back has major offers
Several of the nation's top programs have now offered Frostproof (Fla.) running back Carlton Thomas, including one of the nation's top recruiting programs during the past five years.
The 5-foot-8, 175-pounder recently picked up offers from Southern California, Iowa, Rutgers, Central Florida, South Florida and Florida International. Those were in addition to previous offers from Notre Dame, Auburn, Arkansas and West Virginia, among others.
The offer from the Trojans was both surprising and flattering for Thomas.
"I was pretty amazed," Thomas said. "I didn't think that my film had made it out there that far. They contacted me and I spoke with (USC recruiter) Pat Ruel and he told me they liked it."
The Trojans coaching staff also made their one allotted phone call for the contact period to Thomas on Wednesday.
"Today they called and were talking to me about an offer and their program," he said.
Would Thomas be interested in playing college football in Los Angeles?
"I'm very interested," he said. "I just got the offer, though, so I am not sure when or if I am going to take a visit out there."
Right now, Thomas says that five schools stand out the most to him, including one of USC's chief rivals.
"Notre Dame is up there with me," he said. "It's a big school. They are in a BCS Bowl game every single year. The coaching staff up there has a lot of experience in the NFL with (Fighting Irish head coach) Charlie Weis and all. They also told me that I could step in and play as a true freshman."
Auburn, West Virginia, Arizona State and Arkansas round out Thomas' current top five. He commented about the Tigers' program.
"They are close to home," he said. "They have a good school and are a powerful program. They also are in a BCS Bowl game nearly every year. They also are recruiting me as a running back and they like to run the football, so that's good."
Members of the Tigers coaching staff stopped by Frostproof High earlier this week to check up on Thomas. Several other staffs are set to stop by this spring
"Most everybody said they are coming by during spring ball," he said. "West Virginia said they are coming by on May 6. Arkansas and Notre Dame said that they are coming by during the spring, too."
Thomas, who rushed for 2,283 yards and five touchdowns during his junior year, says he isn't sure when he will make a final decision.
"I think I am going to be patient with my decision," he said. "I am going to weigh all of my options, so I will probably make my decision after my season or somewhere around in there."