Galena Park (Texas) North Shore cornerback Earnest Thomas stands 5-10, 175 pounds, and is trusted with some of the toughest tasks of any defensive back in the Houston-area.
Week in and week out the North Shore Mustangs take on some of the toughest competition out there and Thomas is the man entrusted to take on that competition's top receiver. That means every week he will be tested and he must be focused.
"We have a saying we go by and it is 'Earn the right to win every day,'" Thomas said. "I focus on the little things. Every little thing in a football game counts. I focus on all of those little things I can get better at such as hand placement, getting off blocks, working my feet more, and trying to understand the concept of what receivers are trying to do to me."
In the North Shore defensive backfield he has become experienced at going one-on-one, man-to-man, and he is very aware of the mentality and the preparation it takes to survive on cornerback island.
"My coach always tells me not to worry about how big the receiver is or what type of colleges are looking at him," Thomas said. "I just have to keep my head down. I know the things I can do and what I'm capable of doing and I execute it on the field. I spend a lot of one-on-one time with my coach going over film looking at the releases. Just looking at my position and try to find ways that I can balance it out and shut them down for however minutes we have in the game."
Coaches from Kansas State came by the school, Nebraska has called. UNLV and Utah State are showing him significant interest. This summer he attended UTSA and Houston camps, and the Cougars have invited him in for unofficial visits this fall. However, the school showing the most attention is Houston Baptist.
"I've been talking to Houston Baptist University. I've been talking to coach (Roger) Hinshaw and he's really straightforward," Thomas said. "He doesn't hold anything back. He keeps me up to date on what the college life is like and how things are going."
That interest has Houston Baptist at the top of his current list of schools.
"Houston Baptist University, because this is their first year opening up as a Division I school," Thomas said. "I would love to be in the uniform of a brand new school just to make a statement or whatever just know it's it's first year and you are going in there and playing football."
Right now Thomas is enjoying the process, but his focus is on the season.
"I'm blessed. I just take it one day at a time. It's like my coach says at the end of the day the Lord is going to have me where he wants me to be. It's just an exciting thing," Thomas said. I try to keep my head down and not focus on college. I'm trying to help my team win a state championship and at the end of the day that's when I'll decide where I want to go."