One-of-a-Kind

National Recruiting Editor
Posted Jun 13, 2007
Allen Wallace, National Recruiting Director TheInsiders.com and SuperPrep.com


"I want to get away from Florida. I've lived here all my life and it's time to leave," Thomas Shuler said. "I'm looking for a nice environment and I'd rather play in a small town that has great football tradition." Although Shuler says he wants to leave Florida, he says his mom would prefer if he stayed closer to home. "She wants me to stay close, but that's not going to be a problem..."

Thomas Shuler, or "Shu", as his friends call him, is the 5-foot-11, 235-pound running back from Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Fla. "As soon as I started high school, people just started calling me Shu," Shuler said. "I guess my last name was tough to pronounce."

Shuler finished his junior season with over 800 yards rushing with 15 touchdowns. "I can run people over," he said. "I'm real strong (benches 405 pounds and squats 675), but I can make people miss too. I'm unique. I'm one-of-a-kind.

"I'm more of a power back and want to improve my footwork and movement."

Shuler has offers from Arkansas, West Virginia, Colorado, Florida State, Alabama, LSU, Louisville and Ohio State. His top choice is Arkansas and the Razorbacks lead slightly over West Virginia, Louisville, Florida, Florida State, Miami and Ohio State.

Although the 'Canes haven't offered, Shuler said that he grew up following them. "They just used to win," he said. "They talk to my coach, but I'm not sure how interested they are. They haven't offered yet.

"Arkansas is a great program for a running back," Shuler said. "They led the nation in rushing last year and have a great team. I just love their offense.

"I also like West Virginia a lot because they are a great program and they've been near the top for a while," he said. "Louisville is really good and I like that they use big backs. I think I'd be able to fit in there."

Shuler says he doesn't plan to drag out the recruiting process. "I'd like to be able to make my decision early during the season," he said. "I don't want to wait too long.

"I want to get away from Florida. I've lived here all my life and it's time to leave," Shuler said. "I'm looking for a nice environment and I'd rather play in a small town that has great football tradition."

Although Shuler says he wants to leave Florida, he says his mom would prefer if he stayed closer to home. "She wants me to stay close, but that's not going to be a problem," he said. "She'll support me wherever I go."

Despite the fact that Shuler would rather leave the state, he admitted that he'd rather not go too far. "I like Ohio State and I plan to visit them, but they might be too far away. I really like their tradition and that they produce great backs every year, so I'll have to go up there and see what it's like."

He reports a 2.5 core GPA and a 900 SAT, which he will retake. "My goal is to get over 1000."



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