Caleb Thomas was a three-year starter along the line of scrimmage for University Christian and will remain here in Jacksonville to play college football. Thomas committed to Jacksonville University over the weekend and sat down with 1010XL to discuss his.
“I went up to take an official visit to Marist this past weekend,” Thomas told 1010XL. “I went up there and it was kind of cold a little bit. I had taken my official visit to Jacksonville University two weeks before that and there was a difference I felt between Marist and JU which were the two schools I was considering for my commitment.
“JU had a family atmosphere and the coaches were very relatable. The facilities were very nice and all the players made me feel welcome. I just felt really at home at JU.”
Thomas was asked how he feels to be able to play college football in his home town.
“I’m excited about it,” he said. “A lot of different recruits like to get away. I’m for sure going to live on campus when I go to JU, so I’m not living at home because I want to get away too, but I love Jacksonville. I love being able to stay local and be able to represent Duval in college.
“I’ll be able to show everything I have to offer here in the city now at the college level, so I’m excited about that.”
(1010XL’s countdown to college football’s National Signing Day is presented by Island Doctors)
Head coach David Penland has done great things with the University Christian program in recent years; Thomas talked about how much Penland meant to him.
“Coach Penland has meant so much to me,” he said. “I’ve been playing football at University Christian since the sixth-grade. Everybody at University Christian is very close at the Penland’s have been there for a long time.
“I always had an expectation when I came to play football at UC to be a great football player and Coach Penland has always followed me, talked to me and coached me even in middle school. He always told me when I got to high school that I would have the chance to play early.”
Thomas played on both the offensive and defensive line at University Christian; where does he plan to play at JU?
“I think with my height, I’m going to play offensive guard, or maybe even some center,” Thomas said.
Thomas is thankful for this opportunity at Jacksonville University.
“I think a lot of people take for granted the amount of high school football players throughout the country and the small percentage of them that get to move on to play college ball,” Thomas said. “When I put that into perspective, I sat back and thought, ‘wow, I made it.’ I really worked hard to get here and I’m very appreciative to be on this level.”