More on DE Eric Thomas

who will visit Arkansas on Jan. 17-19. He played LB until his current coach took over for this season.

Coach Whiddon said Thomas’ father is 6-7. He believes he’s a classic under the radar guy because the team was winless the year before he got there and won 3, 1, 2 games before that. LB coach Rion Rhoades has a very good relationship with the school’s DC.

It’s Whiddon’s understanding Thomas does have an offer from Arkansas. He said Thomas isn’t a big Twitter guy and isn’t one to put out his offers.

Thomas had 60 tackles, 27 TFL, 14.5 sacks, 1 int and 6 FF as a senior.

HUDL-https://www.hudl.com/video/3/7626958/5db1018e1762570f10e33b2a

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Kid is a beast!! Would be a heck of an OLB! or bulk up to a DE,you can’t teach that kind of athleticism

Did he say who else has offered ?

Middle Tenn appears to be close.

FWIW, Arkansas is recruiting him as a DE

Excellent instincts. Imagine him at about 250 lbs of all muscle.

Ok I can see him playing there aftera Good year in the weight room.

He was 215 as a junior and is 230 now. I can easily see him at 250 as a freshman.

Don’t want to put too much pressure on the kid, but the first clip in the video, the interception, he looks just like Julius Peppers (maybe the best athlete ever here at UNC, even though UNC had MJ and Mia Hamm). Sure hope he remains under the radar for other programs and/or they confuse him with Julius “Groucho” Marx, whose only chance of getting someone to the ground was to make them fall down laughing.

That first play sold me too the kids a freak! Has great closing speed!

Cannot believe the elite programs haven’t sniffed him out. He appears to have an unbelievable combination of speed and strength

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An elite program did- us😎

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He was unblocked most of the time… On these vids. Need more that shows him taking on blockers, or busting up double teams to get to QB. Jury still out on what I’ve seen here.

You’re correct, I should have said the ‘so called’ elite programs!

Been following recruiting closely since 1994 and If it’s too good to be true it usually is- he truly could be an overlooked player ( Malcolm Shepherd or Sam Olajabutu) or more likely there is a reason he may have an offer from Arkansas and MTSU.

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I have not seen any film on this young man, but it seems past Arkansas staffs made first offers to a good number of kids whose recruiting took off after our offer. This is a new staff, so I cannot assume it will continue. I also would not assume that because we are one of the early offers that it means anything negative about Arkansas or the kid.

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It’s important for Arkansas to hit on as many 4 or 5 stars as it can, but it has also been proven over the the years that you have to find three stars with the potential and higher ceiling to be better if developed.

While I disagreed with Bobby Petrino’s pstated hilosophy of taking a kid from out of state if he and an in-state kid were equal on his board, I do think he was right in saying he wanted the three-star kid with more room to grown than a 4-star who was as good who had probably maxed out his potential

With this I can agree and hopefully he fits that mold ( Shepherd, Melvin Bradley) etc. and that is the right attitude to have as opposed to watching one clip and mentioning this kid in the same breath as Julius Peppers!

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There are things that can’t be coached - size, especially height and length (you can artificially increase weight through diet and strength training), speed (quick-twitch muscle groups can be improved but it is incredibly difficult, and then the growth is often not as significant as needed), and…growth opportunity.

A kid who comes to the game late, a kid who is young (think Knile Davis not turning 18 until he got to UA), and the kid who didn’t play on a perennial playoff team all have immense growth potential.

Here in NE OK, 6A-I has a monster foursome sitting at the top: Broken Arrow, Union, Jenks, and Owasso. Until 6A split into two divisions teams played three games prior to a championship game (they now play two, and have a bye week over Thanksgiving). That is a possible FOUR extra games. Play varsity ball for three years and you get an extra season of games and practices compared to players who didn’t make the playoffs.

That means, to me, that there are a lot of well-coached players out there who “what you see is what you get” but what you might get is pretty good. And, there are a lot of players hidden on other rosters who missed out on a season of growth by not being on a playoff team. Maybe that describes Thomas - under-experienced so he doesn’t “pop” on film the way players from more stellar programs “pop”.

Houston Nutt won lots of games with unheralded recruits like Dan Doughty, Jimmy Beasley, George Wilson, John Aaron Reese, etc,

As Barry Lunney said right before he left, “They are out there, you’ve just got to find them.”

This is true - Arkansas will always have to evaluate extremely well and develop like crazy.

Not unlike Iowa, Wisconsin, TCU, etc. Lots of good programs Have to follow the same blueprint which is harder to do in the SEC.