Nation's No. 1 2018 prospect and Clemson defensive end commit Xavier Thomas was interviewed Thursday on ESPNU's ESPN 300 release special on Thursday as Thomas shared some insight on various topics on recruiting and his commitment to Clemson.
Thomas was ranked No. 1 overall in the latest ESPN 300 rankings.
"It means a lot," Thomas said about the lofty individual ranking. "I'm just blessed to be able to be ranked that high. My mom told me and just like everyone else tells me, my family and friends, just to stay humble and just act like I was never ranked at all. Just keep grinding the way I got there and keep doing how I am doing."
Thomas was asked what made him commit recently to in-state Clemson over South Carolina.
"That's why I took those visits before the spring game to South Carolina to make sure Clemson was the school I wanted to be at and after I took those visits I realized Clemson was the school for me," Thomas said. "I brought my family there and it was a very special moment for me and my family. "
Thomas said that the relationships he built with several of the Clemson coaches were a huge reason for him picking the Tigers.
"A lot of schools have nice facilities but I really based my decision on trusting those coaches there," Thomas said. "I talked to the players a lot about how they feel about Coach Swinney, Coach Bates and Coach Venables. I've been recruited by them since my freshman year. I have a good relationship with Coach Bates and Coach Venables and it's been a humbling experience."
Thomas said that he enjoyed the new football complex that had the unique built-in slide.
"It was really fun because I held my four-year-old sister while I was sliding down the slide."
Thomas wanted to make sure he started recruiting for Clemson and decided it was best to end his college recruiting.
"I just wanted to go ahead and shut my recruitment down," Thomas said. "I saw the opportunity we have with this 2018 class to have one of the best classes in school history and the number one class in the country. So I just wanted to go ahead and shut it down and show other top players Clemson is the place to be and start recruiting for this class."
Thomas gave some names of the elite prospects that he is recruiting to be teammates with him at Clemson.
"Patrick Surtain, Anthony Cook, Jamaree Salyer, Jackson Carman, and Zamir White," Thomas shared.
Thomas was asked if he thinks he has a similar game to former South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
"I have the utmost respect for him," Thomas said. "He is a tremendous player, but I just don't see my game with the way I play and the way he played when he was in high school are comparable. I really relate myself to a Vic Beasley type, Grady Jarrett type edge rusher. He was a very tall DE. He played really long and stuff like that."
Thomas finished up by saying that he is hungry to show everybody what kind of player that he can be in the future.
"Just to get better playing going against the best every day here at practice," Thomas said. "It's just a humbling experience. I got a lot of critics saying I haven't been going against any competition at my other school. So now I am going against the best every day in practice and we will be going against some of the top teams around the country which will be aired on ESPN also. I just want to show the world what I can do."