Joe Wickline has developed a reputation as one of the nation's best offensive line coaches. With the bonanza of Texas talent available to him, Wickline has been putting on a recruiting clinic, sending out 17 offers and securing the commitments of Toby Weathersby, Patrick Vahe, and Buck Major. Now, another prospect could be in the mix - according to 247Sports, offensive guard Garrett Thomas out of Many, Louisiana has received an offer. The news came after Wickline saw Thomas perform a workout at his high school.
A consensus three-star prospect, Thomas stands 6' 6" tall and weighs in at 306 lbs. 247Sports considers him the No. 29 offensive guard nationally, and the No. 22 recruit from the state of Louisiana. Thomas is a popular recruit - he currently holds offers from Auburn, Miami, Michigan, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Oklahoma State, among other programs. Interestingly, in-state football power LSU has yet to extend Thomas an offer - despite this, the Crystal Ball of 247Sports considers LSU as Thomas' most likely destination. By contrast, Scout.com seems to indicate that Auburn and Ole Miss are the top contenders for his services. With Strong looking to mold an offensive line with dominant size and athleticism, Thomas represents a significant target for Wickline and the coaching staff.
So far, Thomas has only taken visits to SEC programs - including an unofficial visit to Ole Miss in late March. Hopefully, continued visits from Wickline and the other Texas coaches will be sufficient to bring him on campus soon.
In his highlight videos, Thomas shows plenty of promise on rushing plays - he has a quick release off the line and uses his size effectively to overwhelm linebackers at the second level. He finishes blocks well, and shows plenty of speed when moving downfield. Although Thomas was listed as an offensive tackle during high school, he may be more suited to play at left or right guard. Due to Many's offense, Thomas didn't see much action as a pass blocker - it will be interesting to see whether his footwork holds up in pass protection. His performance at the Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour was solid, although it did result in a particularly unflattering video of Thomas getting beaten off the edge during drills.
With the number of schools courting Thomas, getting the recruit on camps for a visit will probably be one of Wickline's priorities. The short length of time it took for Wickline to approve an offer suggests he is very excited about Thomas. The next step is to make a positive impression if and when Thomas sets foot on the 40 Acres.