'Dream school' lures Freeport's Thimons
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Freeport's Logan Thimons isn't quite comfortable with the term “late bloomer,” which was attached to him because he didn't start playing football until the seventh grade.
“That's motivation for me,” Thimons said. “It's a kick in the butt; I need to get working and get better every day. I have to show that I am a Division I player.”
You can drop the “late” label because the out-of-nowhere junior linebacker is an early commit.
Thimons, who has two more years of high school football left, verbally committed to play at West Virginia.
Late or early, WVU was right on time for Thimons, who called it his “dream school.”
He went to the Mountaineers' final prospect camp a week ago — his second camp visit to Morgantown — and picked up more than an MVP award among the 300 campers; he also grabbed his first scholarship offer.
And a few days later, he gave WVU his word.
Former Penn State assistant Tom Bradley, a first-year assistant at WVU, recruited Thimons.
“That's the school I wanted to go to,” Thimons said. “It was a shock to get an offer, but a dream come true. There was no use waiting any longer. I am able to get my decision behind me, stop playing games and focus on football.”
Toledo, Penn State and Lehigh also showed interest.
Thimons (6-foot-1, 210 pounds), who was an All-Class AA Allegheny Conference first-team pick as a defensive lineman last season, was recruited as a middle linebacker. He's expected to anchor Freeport's defense again, while also seeing time at tight end or running back.
West Virginia reminded Thimons of Freeport: a low-key rural area that packs the stands on game days.
“There's a family feel. It brings me back home,” he said. “The coaches there get along so well. The coaches at Freeport would do anything in their power for their players, and we'd do anything for them.”
As Thimons watched West Virginia games on television, he underlined the play of former All-American Tavon Austin. His interest in the team along with his initial camp visit — and subsequent invite back for another one — gave WVU that dream status.
“I was so comfortable when I walked onto that field,” he said. “It wasn't like that at other places.”
As a sophomore, Thimons led Freeport with 97 tackles (43 solo), including 20 for losses. He caused six fumbles.
“Logan wanted to get bigger and faster and get his name out there, and he did,” Freeport coach John Gaillot said. “Like a lot of our kids, Logan is tenacious.
“When he puts that helmet on and crosses that line, he plays like he's possessed.”
Thimons carries a 4.3 GPA and is thinking about a career in engineering. He said he has only missed one day of school in his life.
Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BillBeckner.
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