Elijah Thomas is the No. 8 power forward in the ESPN 100 and anchors the paint for Lancaster (Lancaster, Texas). A dominant AAU season and an equally dominant junior year has nearly every major college in the country putting on the full-court recruiting press. He’s agreed to give USA TODAY HSS exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything from intimate details about his recruitment to his everyday life in a monthly blog.
Hey, what’s up everybody!
The biggest thing that’s going on with me right now is that I’m thinking long and hard about my college decision. It’s gonna be the biggest decision of my life.
I’m just trying to get all the information I can and make the best decision for me.
My first official visit was to LSU and the first person I visited when I got there was Les Miles!
People don’t know this, but football is my favorite sport. I had a good talk with him and then Coach Miles offered me a scholarship to play tight end. He was 100 percent serious too!
That’s something I’ll take into serious consideration.
I had a great time hanging out with Coach Jones and Coach Patrick and my cousin Jordan Mickey. Just hanging out with their players and playing open gym with them and some of the pros there was fun. I liked that they went hard; I don’t like playing and not going hard so it’s important to me to go to a school with guys that want to work hard whenever they get on the court.
I got off too!
The whole visit was a big eye-opener for me to what LSU had to offer, and I could definitely see myself going there. I feel like, based on the players that they would have when I came there, I could have a legit shot at winning a national title.
They’ve already got Benjamin Simmons, and I know that if I came there it would be really big. I call him “Benjamin” not “Ben” because he’s a lil Hollywood! Haha!
He kinda reminds me of myself in a way; us playing together would be indescribable! It would be really big.
We had a lil rivalry when we first played against each other; talking junk back and forth a lil! He’s my dude though and we both respect each other’s game.
I told him to shout me out on Instagram and he said he’d do it after I commit to LSU! Haha!
I look at everything on visits. I want the coach to show me point-by-point how I’d be used in multiple ways, I look at if he looks me in the eyes on the visit and a bunch of other things.
I don’t want to just be in the paint the whole time because I’m a basketball player. I remember a few years back Coach K told me that and I loved it. He told me to always think of myself as just a basketball player.
Now, every time a coach asks me what position I’m most comfortable at I always say it doesn’t matter; I’m a basketball player.
My next visit was to Oklahoma State this past weekend.
I had fun and got to bond with all the players even more because I already knew all of them anyway. We watched film and I got to talk with Coach Ford about a lot of different things; he talked about me being the face of the program.
That was big for me.
I met with the academic advisors and all of those ladies were really cool!
I can see myself playing there because there are going to be experienced players there, and I can go in right away and win.
I know I say this all the time, but this will be a hard decision because there are things I like about all of the schools.
I already told y’all what I liked about LSU and Oklahoma State; with SMU they’ve got THE Larry Brown! He hates it when I call him that, but I have to because he’s a legend and the roster they’d have my freshman year would be big!
He’s always expressed the “need” to have me there and not just the “want.” Plus, it’s in my city and I could have my people close. That’s big for me.
Then you’ve got Illinois; Coach Groce is the most interesting of them all.
That’s my guy! If I didn’t pick Illinois I would still keep in touch with him. They were the second school to ever offer me a scholarship and we’ve built a relationship over the past few years that’s strong. Coach Groce has a plan for me that he shows me word-for-word; I like that. The Big Ten is a great conference and they’ve got D.J. Williams coming in, and I know that we could make noise. Then you’ve got the fan base; it’s hands down the best fan base I’ve ever seen and I was recruited by Kentucky and Duke, but those Illinois fans are the best I’ve seen.
With Texas A&M, they’ve been really consistent. They only missed one game out of all the games I played in the summer and they were the first school to offer me a scholarship. I definitely take that into consideration. Oh and I feel like Coach Darby Rich is the best strength and conditioning coach in the world and they obviously play in a prestigious conference.
I would love to play with Tyler Davis too! I think we would dominate and that’s something I’m really looking at.
So y’all see, there are things that I really like about all of the schools on my list.
It’s gonna be tough!
I still don’t know the date for my decision, but I’ll put it out as soon as I figure it out.
OK, stepping away from basketball, I’ve started school and that’s going great for me! I love my English class; my teacher Leisha Woods knows how to make learning fun for us!
Of course I’m looking forward to basketball season too. We get to travel this year; we’re going to Chicago to play against D.J. Williams and Simeon so that will be big.
I can’t wait for that game, and of course I think we’ll get the win because I’m seeing what we’re doing in our workouts. We’re hungry and I know that’s gonna translate on the court for us.
OK, everybody I’m gonna head out.
God bless and I’ll let you know about my other visits soon!
Watch Elijah Thomas dominate on his LSU visit:
Follow Elijah Thomas on Twitter and Instagram: @edotcash