Watching the way the recruitment of his teammate and close friend Kevin Peterson went last year taught Wagoner cornerback Kerwin Thomas plenty of lessons.
The biggest? Patience.
“You've got to be patient and just work,” Thomas said. “You can't control what's out of your hands so I just go out and do what I know how to do and everything else will work out.”
Thomas, who comes in at No. 22 on The Oklahoman's Super 30 list of football recruits, is still waiting on his first offer.
This summer, Thomas has gone to work hard on his primary deficit — his size.
“I ran a 4.4 at Arkansas State and they just said I was a little light,” Thomas said. “It's not my height (5-10), it's getting some more weight.”
Going into the summer, Thomas said he weighed 146. He's now at 152 and has his eye on about 170 before the season starts. He's adding the weight with a combination of diet, protein shakes and weightlifting.
“It's tough at times,” he said. “But by coaches keep pushing me.”
As a junior on Wagoner's Class 4A state title team, Thomas had 42 tackles and a team-high five interceptions, scoring one touchdown on defense.
He also saw time on offense, mostly as a backup to the electric Peterson. This year, Thomas figures to play a bigger role in Wagoner's offense and could even wind up playing quarterback for the Bulldogs.
In addition to adding the extra weight before the season, Thomas is looking at other improvements, mostly mentally.
“I'd like to play with a little more swagger this year,” Thomas said. “Knowing that I have to be a leader this year and everything that comes with it, I want to play how I know I can play and be completely confident in myself.”
Thomas also hopes for a healthy season after a couple of setbacks relating to a shoulder injury he suffered as a sophomore.
Against Catoosa that year, he tore the ligament that connects his sternum and clavicle.
He tweaked the injury in the state championship game and then again during the spring.
In late June, he finished physical therapy as he heals from the injury.
“I feel really good now,” Thomas said. “I'm ready to go.”
Arkansas State, Tulsa and Kansas are among the teams who could be close to extending an offer to Thomas.
He's been to camps at all three schools and has another visit scheduled to Iowa State later this month.
The Oklahoman's Super 30
Every day through July 22, The Oklahoman's high school sports staff will bring you a feature story on one of the state's top football prospects, counting down from No. 30 to No. 1 on our Super 30 recruiting rankings.
Here are the players we've written about so far:
No. 30: Trevan Smith, Edmond Santa Fe
No. 29: Chris Hall, Tulsa Union
No. 28: Caleb Holland, Carl Albert
No. 27: Cory Irwins, Mustang
No. 26: Diquon Woodhouse, Altus
No. 25: James Caligone, Tulsa Washington
No. 24: Jordan Evans, Norman North
No. 23: Cameron Wrenn, Broken Arrow
No. 22: Kerwin Thomas
Recruited by: Arkansas State, Oklahoma State and Tulsa among others.