Frostproof (Fla.) running back Carlton Thomas holds six early scholarship offers from BCS conference programs and is getting attention from a number of others. Rivals.com caught up with the talented running back to get his thoughts on the early attention.
"I have offers from Auburn, West Virginia, Arkansas, Arizona State, UConn and Notre Dame," Thomas said. "Arkansas and Arizona State stand out right now."
Thomas was watching as the Razorbacks advanced to the SEC Championship game last season behind Heisman Trophy candidate, running back Darren McFadden.
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"I like their offense and I like what they did this year," Thomas said. "The coach said they offered me as a running back and that's what I want to play in college."
Chris Vaughn is recruiting Thomas for Arkansas.
Arizona State means a chance to experience something new.
"They are out-of-state," Thomas said. "I have never been out of state. I wouldn't mind going to Arizona and seeing some things I haven't seen."
Auburn was the first program to offer Thomas a scholarship.
"I'm interested in them," Thomas said. "Auburn was my first offer, so I have to be interested in them. I like the program and I know for sure they are going to run the ball when I get there."
Greg Knox is recruiting Thomas for Auburn.
The styles of offense at West Virginia and Notre Dame also are appealing to the 5-foot-7, 175-pound back, who led Polk County, Fla. (Lakeland area) with more than 2,200 rushing yards as a junior.
"West Virginia runs the same exact offense that we ran this year," Thomas said. "With Notre Dame, they are a team that I have been watching a long time. They have been in movies. They are big games and always play on TV. Their offensive coordinator (head coach Charlie Weis) has been successful in the NFL and in college, so that's impressive to me.'
Bernie Parmalee is recruiting Thomas for the Fighting Irish.
Thomas also is getting interest from Florida State and Ohio State. Thomas traveled to Tallahassee to Florida State's Junior Day this past Saturday for the Seminoles' Junior Day event.
"It went good," he said. "I liked Florida State a lot. They haven't offered me, but it was a neat experience. They are starting to plan a new offense, the same offense that we ran this year. So I basically can be good in their offense already. They wanted me to come to their camp this summer and I will probably do that."
Several things will be important to Thomas when he goes to make his final decision.
"First of all is what position I will be playing and second is the academics and third is the school, how competitive the school is and how much they get along," Thomas said. "For example, will they take me as a member of their family.
"I have no idea when I am going to decide."
Thomas was an all-state selection in 2006. He is coached by Brad Metheny at Frostproof High.