On Tuesday, coveted offensive line prospect Ethan Thomason narrowed down his list of schools to eight and BYU made the cut. Thomason's final eight include BYU, Utah, Colorado, Iowa State, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Nebraska, and Oklahoma State.
Earlier this year, Thomas was upgraded to four-star status by On3 Sports, and other outlets could upgrade Thomason to four-star status by signing day. Thomason grew up cheering for hometown Colorado State and he also cheered BYU since he is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. "But I would not say that I really had a dream school," Thomason said in an earlier interview with Cougs Daily.
Thomason attends Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Colorado. Coincidentally, that is the alma mater of of now BYU offensive line coach Darrell Funk. On his relationship with Coach Funk, Ethan said, "I think it's a personal relationship. It's not like he's just recruiting me and just sending out a bunch of stuff...it's a little different than others. Some other places send out a lot of messages to a lot of kids, and I think Coach Funk is just a real guy and an old school guy."
Studio C and Spring Practice
Thomason has been to BYU's campus for a few unofficial visits. During his latest visit in March at the request of the younger Thomason siblings, BYU Executive Coordinator of On-campus Recruiting Jack Damuni took the Thomason family to visit Studio C. "They loved it," Thomason said. "That was really accommodating."
During practice later that day, Thomason was invited on the field with Coach Funk. "I basically walked the field with Coach Funk," Ethan said. "He explained every play and blocking scheme to me for like an hour of practice during the team period."
When asked if he had a favorite moment from a previous visit, Thomason recalled being invited into the locker room after BYU beat Virginia last season. "I was able to go in the locker room and hear Coach Sitake's speech. [Coach Sitake] brought the whole offensive line to the front and thanked them and had them lead the fight song. That was cool."
BYU to the Big 12
Once Thomason is enrolled at his school of choice, BYU will be full-fledged member of the Big 12 Conference. On the Cougars' Big 12 affiliation and how it impacts his perception of BYU, Thomason said, "I think it definitely moves them up. Playing that level of competition every year rather than, you know, I know in the past couple years we've played some great teams. They have a really good schedule, but I think it's just the consistency and respect that it will give them is important as well as the film for me playing against a high level of defenders will be big for NFL scouts in the future."
When asked what his priorities will be throughout his recruitment, Thomason said, "The development, which includes the strength program and the position coach as well, the team culture, and seeing if I would fit in there. Those are probably the two or three most important things."
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