New head coach Chris Scott has guided Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, VA) to two consecutive wins in its first two games of the 2008 season. The Dolphins have many talented players, but two in particular – senior Shamarko Thomas and junior Justin Hunter – have turned in standout performances so far.
A 5-10 1/2, 195-pound free safety and running back, Thomas has tallied two interceptions and 10 tackles in the two wins.
“He is doing a great job,” Scott said of Thomas. “He is off to a fast start. He has led our defense, which has produced nine turnovers and two touchdowns this season. Our defense is doing really well and our offense continues to improve. Shamarko is playing free safety, but we find every single way to get him in the box as much as possible.”
In passing situations, Thomas can “cover most of the field,” Scott says, and he plays in the box on run situations. He is an athletic and speedy recruit, consistently running the 40 in under 4.5 seconds, but some college coaches wonder if he could make the move to cornerback if needed.
“His height is an issue with some coaches,” Scott said. “The team showing the most interest is Louisville. They have got him as the number one guy they are trying to bring in right now. You hear a lot of different things from coaches, but the Louisville coach specifically said that Shamarko is their number one guy. They see Shamarko as a diamond in the rough. Marshall and Liberty have been very persistent. Akron and East Carolina have been persistent.”
Akron, East Carolina, Liberty, Louisville and Marshall, among others, have offered Thomas. Syracuse is showing heavy interest, recently asking for transcripts, and Penn State recently inquired. Virginia and Virginia Tech are expressing interest as well, but neither has offered.
“Coach Price and Coach Pruett have the area here. They have talked very highly of Shamarko,” Scott said. Thomas camped at both UVa and Virginia Tech this summer. “They talked to him [at the USC game on Saturday] and told him the things he needs to do [academically] to make an offer happen. Coach Pruett has told me that he coached in the SEC and the ACC and he definitely thinks Shamarko could play in either conference.
“Virginia Tech is still interested, but they have to be very careful because of their numbers. I asked if they thought he could play in the ACC and they said they thought...
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