Solomon Thomas joined the ranks of the nation's other top college football recruits after the 5-star defensive end decided to commit to Stanford, according to Josh Ward of WNML in Knoxville:
Per 247Sports' composite rankings, Thomas was one of the best defensive line prospects available. In addition to being the No. 25 player overall, Thomas is the No. 2 strong-side defensive end in the country, and he is also the No. 3 player from the state of Texas.
With all of that in mind, it should come as no surprise that many of the premier programs in college football pursued him. Stanford, Arkansas, UCLA, Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and a host of others did their best to reel him in, according to 247Sports.
At 6'2.5" and 258 pounds, Thomas already has ideal size as well as a tantalizing combination of strength and agility. It remains to be seen if he will be able to contribute at a high level right away, but his star power is certainly evident.
Production wasn't an issue during his high school career, as he racked up 105 tackles in 2011 before picking up 89 in 2012. Thomas also had 18 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks in 2012, so he has a penchant for making big plays that can stall an offense.
According to ESPN.com, Thomas followed that up with another impressive campaign this past season, as he ended with 80 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and six sacks.
In addition to that, Thomas was named to the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and he was also an All-State second-team selection, per 247Sports.
Thomas is so highly touted that he even had other players attempting to woo him. According to Brice Jones of TexAgs, Texas A&M defensive end commit and fellow Texas native Myles Garrett attempted to convince Thomas to become an Aggie:
Thomas already looks like an elite college football player on the practice field, so the only question now relates to whether it will translate into game action against top-level competition.
While Thomas is capable of getting to the quarterback, his best asset is probably his ability to stop the run. That means if he continues to grow, then he can potentially become a 3-4 defensive end, although having versatility and being able to play multiple positions is always a good thing.
Despite the fact that Thomas is a defensive end, he models his game after Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh in terms of his physicality and quickness off the ball, according to this video courtesy of Bleacher Report.
If Thomas becomes even half of the player that Suh was at the collegiate level while with Nebraska, then there will be a great deal of buzz surrounding him. Suh was arguably one of the most dominant defensive players in the history of college football, so Thomas has chosen the right player to emulate.
It may take some time before Thomas' impact is truly felt, but following his progress in the meantime will certainly be exciting.
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