Thomas made a statement in Oregon

National Recruiting Analyst
Posted Jul 6, 2013
Chad Simmons


BEAVERTON, Oregon - Scout has had Chad Thomas ranked high in the Scout 300 since we released the 2014 rankings, but he still may be a little too low. He dominated at The Opening and he talks about that here...

Chad Thomas entered The Opening as the No. 12 defensive end and the No. 101 overall prospect on Scout, but he showed throughout the event that even those lofty rankings may be a little too low.

He is known most for his speed off the edge and quick subtle moves, but he showed much more than that against some of the top offensive tackles in the country in Oregon.

Scout.com's complete coverage of The Opening 2013 presented by NIKE
Thomas dominated with power, with speed, with moves, and he just took over.

The four-star credits the mindset more than anything.

"I came out here with the mindset to win," Thomas said. "It was not that I did anything really better or anything really different, but that I came out to Oregon with the mindset to go hard, win each rep, and not to play around.

"There was a lot of things out here that could be a distraction, but I did not pay attention to that stuff. I did not come to play around and have fun, but I came to work, to compete, and to win. I stayed focused and I lost one rep and won the rest. I feel good about how I did."

At the end of the event, Thomas was named MVP for defensive linemen and that was an easy selection.

While dominating the competition in front of him, the 6-foot-5, 240 pound end out of Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington was soaking all of the instruction in.

"My technique got better out here and I focused on learning new moves. It is different out here than competing against guys in Miami, so I worked on more moves off the ball and tried to mix it up more. I listened, I watched, and I know I improved some."

The soon-to-be Scout 100 prospect has scholarship offers from many top programs and he named Florida State, LSU, and Miami his top three not long ago, but he went on record at The Opening saying he was more open now.

He is focused more on his game than he is recruiting right now.

"I have really worked on getting better and I have tried not to let recruiting get in the way," he said. "I have gotten a lot stronger and I have gotten faster, but I have really improved on reading the offensive linemen. I have really studied that and that is what is helping me be more successful. I will keep getting better in all those areas too."

Scout currently has Thomas as the No. 10 prospect and he is recognized as one of the best in the country, but none of that matters to him.

He just wants to be better than the guy he battles.

"I do not care at all to be honest. I do not look at the rankings or event think about that. I just want to be the best player I can be and beat each guy in front of me. That is all I care about. That is why I work hard. The other things will take care of themselves."

Chad Simmons is currently a National Recruiting Analyst for FOX Sports/Scout. He started with Scout in 2003 and then moved on to another Recruiting Service from 2004-2008 before returning to Scout the first of 2009 to become South Recruiting Manager.
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