Ohio Linebacker Cam Thomas Talks Buckeyes Bowl Practice

The West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West football program remains loaded with talent. The Buckeyes have had success there in recent years pulling players like Malik Hartford and Tegra Tshabola and have offered class of 2025 tight end Luka Gilbert.

Another name to know in that program is class of 2026 linebacker Cam Thomas. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound prospect is one of the top players in Ohio in a very loaded sophomore class. Thomas was back on campus on Saturday to check out Ohio State’s bowl practice.

“I really noticed that the Bowl game meant a lot to the players and coaches,” Thomas told “They were really getting after it and the players focus was locked in. The Defense was really flying around.”

Thomas already boasts some big offers including Michigan, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin, and the Buckeyes are keeping close tabs on him coming out of his sophomore year.

“I talked with coach Day, coach Knowles, coach Johnson, coach Laurinaitis and coach McGrath also (Director of Player Personnel Nick Murphy),” he explained. “They are constantly keeping an eye out for me when I’m on campus. I feel really at home when I’m in the facilities. At this point they are just telling me they wanted to get me on campus again before dead period. They want to bring me back up in the spring.”

Thomas is a versatile and athletic prospect but Ohio State has a pretty good idea of where they view him at the next level.

“They are recruiting and projecting me as a linebacker,” Thomas said. “They really see me playing as an OLB or Star position. coach Laurinaitis keeps up with me as much as he can. I’m an underclassmen so we can’t talk on the phone but when I’m on campus we really lock in and he makes sure I know what they are doing scheme wise, along with coach McGrath. Tommy (Eichenberg) was out for rest and coach Laurinaitis jokingly said he might need me to fill in for Tommy today. I said let’s go!”

Another good part of the visit for Thomas was getting to bend the ear of Hartford and Tshabola about their time at Ohio State. Getting real feedback from current players can be invaluable in the recruiting process in helping separate fact from fiction.

“I actually had good conversations with Malik and Tegra at bowl practice,” Thomas said. “I really look up to those guys. Especially to Malik, he was my senior so to see him as a key contributor at Ohio State is huge motivation. They both talked to me about leadership. They said it’s my time to step into a leadership role at Lakota West now that I will be a junior next season. They both love Ohio State. Coming from a program like Lakota West it’s an easier transition because of how coach (Tom) Bolden coached them and how he holds his players accountable.”

Ultimately the Buckeyes will start getting even more aggressive with class of 2026 offers this winter and spring. When that time comes, Thomas is hopeful an offer will come his way.

“I have definitely followed Ohio State since I could remember,” he said. “You kind of have to in our family. So I’m definitely a fan. It means a lot being recruited by Ohio State, it’s a big deal to me and my family. They will always be a top school for me. Being on campus so many times, I see what it takes to play at Ohio State. That’s why I’m always working on my skill set getting bigger, faster, stronger and watching film and being strong in the classroom. I was just awarded All-Academic honors along with All-Conference performer for my play on the field. I feel like a priority recruit for my class, the coaches let me know my time is coming so that’s an honor for me. I’ll just keep grinding and getting on campus as much as I can.”

Thomas made our early list of top prospects in Ohio for the 2026 class in a cycle which may be Ohio’s best in a while.

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