Haines Hits The Open Market
Willie Saylor, Editor
Anyone interested in the most decorated upperweight in Pennsylvania history? One with three state titles, two Super 32 and Powerade finals appearances, and a title from each?
Welcome to the wonderful world of recruiting, where anything can happen.
Last November, Thomas Haines (Solanco, Pa) gave a verbal commitment to Penn State. The Heavyweight prospect, ranked #10 on our Senior Big Board, is on pace to join an elite group of just 12 other four-time state champions, and at 220lbs, the heaviest of them.
However, last week Penn State announced the commitment of Nick Nevills, another Top 10 HWT prospect out of Clovis, California.
Nevills’ announcement immediately posed questions of Haines’ status. Could both co-exist at Penn State? Was PSU trying to build depth at HWT, or were they going a different direction from Haines?
On Monday, Thomas’ father, David cleared the air. “Thomas will not be going to Penn State,” he said. “Thomas isn’t exactly upset, but it took him by surprise. He thought Cael looked on him favorably. But we understand that’s the nature of recruiting; one door closes, another one opens.”
So where will he go now?
Announcing his decision to Penn State so early (in November of his JR year), Haines never went through the traditional recruiting process.
“We’re kind of working backward here,” David said. “Thomas never got to take official visits. I’d like to see him visit a variety of schools to see what’s out there. Big Schools, small schools. City schools, rural schools.”
Although there is a short list of colleges that Haines initially has in mind, David says he’s open to all options.