2022 Defensive End Richard Thomas Starting to See Recruitment Get Hot, Talks Offer From LSU Football
Richard Thomas is looking for the best football fit not only on the field but in the classroom as well. The 2022 standout defensive end has a love for architecture and wants to pursue it wherever he ultimately decides to go to college.
Thomas started really getting into architecture as a ninth grader and has continued to familiarize himself with that major. Whether it's designing skyscrapers on the New York skyline or going the smaller route and designing homes, Thomas doesn't yet know which area he wants to gravitate towards but looks forward to figuring that out.
On the football field, Thomas is a unique physical specimen that is drawing up interest from a number of high profile programs across the country. At this time, LSU, Auburn, Oregon, Miami, Florida State, Maryland and Kentucky are some of the big schools to offer the Fort Lauderdale, Florida prospect.
Thomas said receiving the offer from the Tigers n particular was a humbling experience. He was in the middle of a workout two months ago when his coach approached him and told him the good news.
"Getting offered by LSU was a blessing and brought me more motivation to work hard on and off the field," Thomas said. "I was excited, I was happy and it brought me motivation because the offer came from a team that's fresh off of winning a national championship."
Thomas hasn't been able to physically visit LSU to this point but is hoping that will come as soon as the recruiting dead period is lifted. Because he's being recruited as a defensive end whose primary role will be to get after the quarterback, Thomas' main source of contact has been defensive line coach Bill Johnson.
"Our relationship is good, he keeps telling me how much he wants me to be an LSU Tiger and I keep telling him I can't wait to come visit," Thomas said. "They say I'm a great playmaker, I'm fast off the ball and I'm more aggressive in terms of my get off the line of scrimmage."
Speed, agility and strength are the three physical areas that most high school prospects spend the most time developing and Thomas is no different. At 6-foot-3, 248 pounds, the Deerfield Beach High School product believes he's just scratched the surface of how physically dominant he can be on the field.
Going into his junior season, Thomas feels there's still plenty he wants to prove to college evaluators. Currently ranked as the No. 14 strong side defensive end on 247Sports composite rankings, Thomas feels his growth in technique over the offseason has been a major added strength to his game.
"I'll go outside with my dad and we'll use handbags to practice doing double hand swipes, swim moves, rips and I've been doing that 100 times day so I can get used to it," Thomas said. "Once I'm on the field and going against an o-lineman I don't even have to think about what I'm going to do, I just do it."
Recently, Thomas has worked out with another top recruit out of the 2022 class, Shemar Stewart, who is one of the more highly touted players in the entire class. The two have been working with a private defensive line trainer who's helped them improve their hand techniques at the line of scrimmage.
"We're pretty tight, when we're on the field we like to compete, get each other better each and every day," Thomas said. "We'll check in with each other and that kind of thing so we have a great relationship."
The goal is to have a better season than last year and that won't come easy considering the kind of campaign he put together as a sophomore. Thomas recorded 70 tackles, 10 sacks and two fumble recoveries for Deerfield Beach.
In terms of his recruitment, Thomas is in no rush because of the loss of spring football plus the potential of more offers that could come his way. Thomas has learned a lot about the LSU program specifically over the last few months with Johnson being a great resource for him.
"He tells me the atmosphere is really great and also that it's awesome being a Tiger," Thomas said.
Based off of the research he's done and what Johnson has told him, Thomas knows the Tigers are building a one of a kind culture in Baton Rouge.
"Coach O is a really great coach and I'm really excited to get on the phone with him because he just seems to be a players' coach which is what you want," Thomas said.