Perhaps the greatest bit of intrigue in the days and weeks leading up to National Signing Day pertained to the eventual destination of defensive end Solomon Thomas out of Coppell High School in Coppell, Texas. That intrigue ended early on Signing Day when Thomas revealed his choice by pulling a Tree from beneath a table and donning a pair of Nerd Nation glasses. Well played, sir. Well played. His choice to attend Stanford is huge for several reasons.
First and foremost, Thomas is a great player, possibly the best defensive end Stanford has ever recruited. Rivals.com ranks him as the third-best defensive end prospect and the #37 player overall in the Class of 2014. Needless to say, Thomas fielded scholarship offers from all corners of the country, including powerhouses like Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Oklahoma, and he narrowed his final list to Arkansas, Stanford, and UCLA during the last few weeks.
Thomas's game film shows him as a relentless pass rusher and a strong defender against the run. He often lines up at defensive tackle, but he projects more readily to defensive end in college. As he adds strength he should develop into an All-Pac-12 performer at the very least.
Beyond this, this signing keeps Stanford's recent pipeline from the Lone Star state flowing like Texas Tea. Just looking back over the past six years, the Cardinal has lured Andrew Luck, Michael Thomas, Barry Browning, Jarek Lancaster, Cameron Fleming, Josh Mauro, and Ty Montgomery out to the green pastures of Palo Alto. It's nice to add another to that list.
Finally, Thomas's commitment elevates Stanford's signing class from excellent to historic. Not only will the Cardinal boast the top class in the Pac-12, from top to bottom this group is quite possibly the best in Stanford history, and the impact of these players will be felt for years to come.