Gators, Spartans lead for Mich. lineman

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. -- Five offers are in for two-way lineman Poet Thomas (Beverley Hills, Mich./Country Day). It is a team yet to offer that joins one of those five programs at the top of Thomas’ list.

“Michigan state and Florida,” Thomas said are his co-leaders. The Gators have offered while Michigan State is still evaluating the 6-foot-5, 290-pound junior.

On Friday, Thomas checked out Michigan State.

“Great. Didn’t get an offer,” Thomas said of the trip. “They said we will talk more next week.

“I have a friend of mine that goes there, Bennie Fowler. I’m close with his family. When I go there, (Michigan State) treats me like it’s home, tell me what it’s about. I talk to their coaches on a weekly basis. It’s close to home, too.”

Thomas could not really explain what has him excited about the Gators, other than that they are one of the elite programs nationally.

“That’s just on its own. It’s Florida,” Thomas said. “I wouldn’t say no at all. It’s just an issue of where I want to go and how things work out.”

Gators assistant coach Bryant Young talked to Thomas on June 10, and Thomas told Young he was planning to visit Florida at the end of the month. However, most of the staff will be on vacation, so Thomas is trying to make it down to the program’s Friday Night Lights camp July 27.

Colorado is Thomas’ other BCS offer. He talks with assistant coach Eric Bieniemy on a weekly basis.

“He described the school and I've seen it online -- it’s a pretty nice school and everything,” Thomas said. “From what he’s telling me, it sounds like a good program.”

Being so far away from his family could be an issue, though, much like at Florida.

“It’s an issue of where I want to be, if I want my family to watch me play,” he said.

Eastern Michigan, Toledo and Western Michigan also have offered.

“I talk to (Western Michigan) a lot,” Thomas said. “They seem to have a lot of interest in me.”

Thomas hopes to visit Toledo before school starts.