Defensive end Xavier Thomas, the No. 1-ranked prospect in South Carolina for the Class of 2018, is fond of the Gamecocks program. But as it stands, an in-state foe is the biggest threat to South Carolina’s pursuit of Thomas.
The Gamecocks and Clemson are tied at the top for Thomas’ services, he told 247Sports’ Ryan Bartow.
“I think coach (Will Muschamp) has done a good job,” Thomas told Bartow. “They have a great strength and conditioning coach. He has a lot of accolades as does the defensive line coach Lance Thompson. He tells me everything about what the d-line does even though I haven’t been to a practice yet. He tells me everything they run. What I would play if I went there.”
However, Clemson’s pitch was unique for the the sought after defensive end.
“When I went there the coaches treated me like I was already part of the team,” Thomas said. “Coach Dabo Swinney told me to check out other colleges and to choose the best college for me. A coach has never told me that before. Most say to choose their college because that’s what’s best. He said for me to choose the best college for me.”
In addition to Clemson and South Carolina, Thomas also holds offers from SEC schools Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and LSU. Florida State, which is close behind Clemson and South Carolina, has also offered Thomas. He is expected to be in attendance for the spring games at Clemson, South Carolina, Florida State and Alabama.
Nationally, Thomas is rated as the No. 4 player in the Class of 2018 and the No. 2 strong-side defensive end, according to 247Sports.