"My favorite schools are LSU, Nebraska, Arizona, Alabama, and Miami (in random order)," said O.P. Walker (Algiers, La.) cornerback Dwayne Thomas. "I'm going to give everyone an opportunity. It doesn't matter if they're a two-star school or a five-star school; I'm going to give everyone a good chance at recruiting me."
Which schools have offered?
"LSU, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Southern Miss, Utah, ULM, Tulane, Louisiana Tech, ULL, and Arizona," said Thomas. "I have 12, but those are all I can remember off the top. Alabama and Miami are the offers I'm waiting on; I'm waiting on those two. Coach (Burton) Burns at Alabama wants me up there. He wants me to sit down face-to-face with Coach Saban so they can offer me in person. Coach Burns said they'll do whatever it takes to get me committed to Alabama by the end of summer.
"Coach (Hurlie) Brown at Miami said that Miami is the best place for me. They're starting fresh with a new coaching staff, and he also wants me to visit so we can settle things face-to-face with an offer."
Nebraska is also making a strong push.
"Coach (Corey) Raymond, their new DBs coach, played at LSU and he was recruiting me when he was at Utah State last year. Before he was hired, I was getting letters from Nebraska, but he's the one who really brought me over there in terms of personalizing my recruitment. I'm going to try and make it up there for their spring game or one of their camps."
Thomas played with a star-studded cast of seniors last year at O.P. Walker, including five-star DT Anthony Johnson (now at LSU), CB Cortez Johnson (Arizona signee), and RB Robert Kelley (Tulane signee).
"I started as a freshman and so did Anthony," said Thomas. "We're two of only a few players to do that at our school. I'm sure going to miss that big fella next season.
"Cortez didn't always want to play football. Earlier in his career, he wanted to just play hoops, and I would go by his house and tell him that he needed to play football. He's a 6-foot-2 to 6-foot-3 -- darn near 6-foot-4 -- defensive back. I told Cortez that he just needed to go out there and get in his stance and help me. Robert is a big kid, but he's serious when it's gametime and he will take the rock and run with it."
The Chargers reached the Class 4A semifinals last year before dropping a decision to eventual state champion Franklinton. What type of season did Thomas have?
"I played safety last year, and that's mainly what they want me to play in high school," began Thomas. "I'll be a corner in college, but they like me at safety for now because of the way I stop the run. I had 88-to-90 tackles with 6-or-7 interceptions and I also scored 6-or-7 touchdowns. And I had a lot of knockout hits!"