Every college program seems to have a guy like Quintrell Thomas on its roster. The 6-foot-7 power forward from St. Patrick High School in Elizabeth, N.J. embodies the mindset of the grinder and because of that, he's becoming a must get player for a number of schools in 2008.
Thomas, a three-star prospect, is quick to point out his strengths and his weaknesses. And he's quick to point out his improvement in all areas in order to be a player that can help a team win basketball games at the next level.
"I know I'm only 6-foot-7, 6-foot-8 so I'll have to work a little harder at my position," he said. "It helps that I'm just a little bit athletic, too. I have to work harder than all of the other bigs. At a certain point, I know that athleticism evens out at the next level because players are bigger and more athletic than me. You have to improve your skill."
Thomas is improving and he's starting to garner a lot attention after a strong second half of the year at St. Patrick, one of the top high school programs in the country. Thomas has played well with Team New Jersey Elite in the spring as well. He admits he's a little surprised about all of the attention that has found him.
"When I first got started, I thought I would only have like one or two schools looking at me," he said. "Now I've got 16 schools that have offered. I never expected Kansas or Florida to come a knocking.
"Maryland is real high on my list. Pittsburgh is as well. Rutgers, too."
Seton Hall, West Virginia, Miami, Wake Forest and others are in hot pursuit as well. While Thomas isn't ready to narrow things down, there is one school that has really struck a chord.
"I'm still trying to see everybody and hear what they have to say. Maryland has been in the contact a lot. I like what they have to offer," he said.
Thomas has been to Maryland's campus for an unofficial visit. Same goes for nearby Rutgers and Seton Hall. The native Northeastern said he wouldn't mind a change of scenery during his college experience.
"The distance to my house is important. I've been in the city most of my life. I wouldn't mind getting out and seeing the world some more," he said.
"It has to be somewhere in between. I want to play at a medium sized campus. I know if you go to any college worth playing at you are going to have to battle for minutes. Playing time is earned. I know that. I just want to get on the floor a little bit at least my freshman year. I want to learn from everyone else."
Thomas said he hopes to make a commitment by September and sign in November.