Defensive End, Class of 2025
Oscar Smith, Chesapeake, VA
Only in eighth grade, the early recruiting attention paid to Oscar Smith (Va.) 2025 defensive end Brandon Thomas has been admittedly overwhelming. Four schools have made scholarship offers, but with college more than four years away, Thomas is still processing the options he has.
Thomas claims early offers from Virginia Tech, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Tennessee’s previous coaching staff also offered, but the Volunteers fired members of the coaching staff this week due to NCAA violations. For now, though, as his eighth-grade season at Oscar Smith High School is set to kick off next month, Thomas is trying to learn more about the recruiting process in general.
“I look at it like, I’ve got to be different,” Thomas said. “Don’t be like everybody else. I enjoy it, but sometimes, it’s overwhelming. It’s a lot of pressure. But I put that aside and do what I’ve got to do. I don’t want to really start looking at colleges until my junior year.”
Due to the ongoing pandemic, Thomas said he’s only made one in-person visit. During the 2019 season, he attended a game at Tennessee. But through his online research, Thomas said he’s at least been able to figure out what qualities he’d like to find in his college home, when it gets to that point.
“I want a good education, a good coaching staff and good communication with them,” he said. “I want to have good communication with the people around the school, the coaches, I want to enjoy myself.”
Thomas said he has enjoyed the few conversations he’s had with Virginia Tech, which offered a scholarship Tuesday.
“I actually like them,” he said. “The coaches on the phone, they seem cool. They were telling me things I like. I don’t want to go far from home. I’m a mama’s boy. I want to stay in the vicinity, so I enjoyed the conversation with the coaches. They’re very chill, very nice people.”
There have only been a few talks between the two parties thus far. Assistant coach Darryl Tapp has been the primary recruiter and the coach who made the offer, but assistant coach Ryan Smith has also been a part of the conversation.
“They’re just very nice people,” Thomas said. “They’re more like mentors to me. They were telling me about...
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