Illinois is the latest offer for Indianapolis Cathedral offensive lineman Jared Thomas. The 6-foot-4, 255 pound Thomas got the good news from Illini defensive coordinator Tim Banks.
"I talked to Coach Banks and Coach Ricker earlier in the winter," Thomas said. "The other day I talked to Coach Banks and he said they wanted to offer me."
A 3-star recruit according to Rivals.com, Thomas ranks as the No. 35 offensive guard prospect in the nation. Other offers thus far include Boston College, Cincinnati, Indiana, Northwestern, and Purdue.
With the offer in hand, Thomas plans to make the short trip from Indianapolis to Champaign for a visit sometime this spring. But first he has business to take care of on the hardwood; Thomas scores 10 ppg playing power forward for the Cathedral basketball team.
"It's always a great opportunity when I get offered by a Big Ten school because of the competition they have, so I was thrilled to get this," Thomas said. "After my basketball season is over I plan to make my visits to all the schools that I'm interested in. For sure Illinois will be one of them, along with some of the other Big Ten schools that I've been offered by."
Powerhouse Cathedral tore through the Class 3A IHSAA playoffs last fall, capping off the season with a 42-18 win over Westfield in the state championship game. Thomas played left tackle for the Fighting Irish as a junior, but he moved inside to guard for the title game due to an injury - the position he projects at in college.
No favorites yet for Thomas, as he makes his way through the recruiting process. His timetable will depend for a decision will depend on how soon he can get out and see the top schools who have offered him.
"During the spring time I'll get a better understanding of which schools want me the most," Thomas said. 'I'm treating each school the same right now. I don't know when I will make a decision, but I before that I'm going to get out and see all of the schools that I'm interested in. It could be a couple of months from now, or a long time from now."
Though he doesn't yet know what five schools will get an official visit, Thomas does have an idea of what he is looking for in college.
"First is academics, because once football is over I have to have something to fall back on," he said. "Secondly, being able to play at whatever school I choose. And just the relationship that I have with the coaches and also the campus life."